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Professor Michael Schwartz Awarded CUSE Grant to Study Australian Indigenous Deaf Community

Posted on Wednesday 6/16/2021
Michael Schwartz

Professor Michael Schwartz has been awarded a Syracuse University Collaboration for Unprecedented Success and Excellence (CUSE) grant to study the experiences of the Indigenous Deaf Australian community as its members interact with the criminal justice system in Australia. 

"Little is known about the interaction between the Indigenous Deaf community of Australia and that nation's criminal justice system," says Schwartz, outlining his research project, titled "Indigenous Access to the Criminal Justice System in Australia: The Experiences of Deaf Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples." "Bringing a critical disability studies lens to the challenges and opportunities of providing effective communication access to Indigenous Deaf people—whether witness, victim, or perpetrator—is long needed."

Schwartz says that the project team—including Dr. Karen Soldatic of Western Sydney University, Australia, and Dr. Brent C. Elder of Rowan University, New Jersey—will use qualitative and quantitative research methods to examine the experiences of this community to help improve access to the criminal justice system. 

"This work will entail qualitative interviews with not only Indigenous Deaf people but also community activists, scholars, researchers, and other key stakeholders in criminal justice," adds Schwartz, a long-time practicing lawyer and experienced sociologist whose research addresses Deaf communities throughout the world. 

Professor William C. Banks Speaks to Bloomberg Law About Secret DOJ Subpoenas

Posted on Wednesday 6/16/2021
William C. Banks

Trump DOJ Secret Subpoenas Crossed Line

(Bloomberg Law | June 15, 2021) National security law expert William Banks, a professor at Syracuse University College of Law, discusses the controversy over revelations the Justice Department under former President Donald Trump had secretly subpoenaed records from House Democrats, former White House counsel Don McGahn and members of the media.

Listen to the podcast.

Syracuse Law’s Tyler Jefferies L’21 to Participate in the 2021 Top Gun National Mock Trial Competition

Posted on Monday 6/14/2021

For the fifth time in six years, a student from the College of Law has been invited to participate in the prestigious Top Gun National Mock Trial Competition held by Baylor Law. Tyler Jefferies L’21 is the College of Law’s 2021 representative, with rising 3L Marina De Rosa serving as the second chair.

Jefferies was recently honored with the 2021 Travis H.D. Lewin Advocacy Honor Society Executive Director Award. She and her teammate, Alex Eaton L’21, won the intramural 2021 Lionel O. Grossman Trial Competition.

In 2020, Jefferies was part of a Syracuse Law team that advanced from the regional National Trial Competition and captured the New York State Bar Association’s Tiffany Cup. She also was a member of the team that reached the quarterfinals of the inaugural Syracuse National Trial Competition and participated in the National Online Trial Competition. Last year, Jefferies served as the College’s second chair in the Top Gun Competition.

De Rosa is the recipient of the 2021 Lee S. Michaels Advocate of the Year Award. This year, her team won the National Trial Competition Region 2 competition, retaining the Tiffany Cup, and De Rosa won the Best Closing Argument award. She is a Student Fellow of the Syracuse Civics Initiative.

Professor Doron Dorfman Named a 2021 Health Law Scholar

Posted on Monday 6/14/2021
Doron Dorfman

Professor Doron Dorman, an expert in health law and disability law, has been named one of four 2021 Health Law Scholars by the American Society of Law Medicine and Ethics (ASLME) and St. Louis University Law School. Dorfman will present his ongoing research project on what he terms “the paradoxical legal treatment of preventive medicine” at the annual Health Law Scholars Workshop Scholars Weekend at St. Louis Law School in September 2021.

The Health Law Scholars Workshop is a prestigious and selective forum in which emerging health law and bioethics scholars are selected to present works-in-progress and receive in-depth critique from experienced scholars in the field. The workshop draws health law and bioethics scholars from across the country, inviting senior faculty from a variety of law schools and disciplines to review the works-in-progress.

Dorfman's interdisciplinary research uses doctrinal analysis and social science methodology to explore how stigma informs the legal treatment of disempowered communities in the areas of health care, public health, and bioethics. His scholarship has been published or is forthcoming in the Boston College Law Review, Illinois Law Review, UC Irvine Law Review, Law & Society Review, Journal of Health Politics, Policy & Law, and Law & Social Inquiry. His expert commentary has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and USA Today.

Professor Shubha Ghosh Publishes Chapter in OUP "Handbook of Intellectual Property Research"

Posted on Thursday 6/10/2021
Handbook of Intellectual Property Research

Professor Shubha Ghosh, Director of the Syracuse Intellectual Property Law Institute, is among the contributors to Oxford University Press's Handbook of Intellectual Property Research: Lenses, Methods, and Perspectives (2021), edited by Irene Calboli and Maria Lillà Montagnani. Ghosh's chapter—"Consequentialist Thinking and Economic Analysis in Intellectual Property"—appears in Part III, "Intersections Between Intellectual Property Law and (Social) Science."

The handbook offers a comprehensive overview of the methods and approaches that can be used as guidelines to address and develop scholarly research questions related to IP law. 

In particular, this volume provides a useful resource that can be used by IP researchers who are interested in expanding their expertise in a specific research method or seek to acquire an understanding of alternative lenses that could be applied to their research. 

The book is one of the largest compilations, to date, of existing methods and approaches from different lenses, perspectives, and experiences from a diverse group of scholars who derive from a wide range of countries, backgrounds, and legal traditions. 

Law Students Receive Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence Downey Scholarships

Posted on Wednesday 6/9/2021
Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence

Rising 3Ls Abigail Neuviller ’19, Penny Quinteros, and Meghan Steenburgh G’97, and rising 2L Miriam Mokhemar, are among a group of 13 undergraduate, graduate, and law students awarded Downey Scholarships by the Syracuse University Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence (SU ICCAE). The $1,500 award recognizes academic excellence, commitment to public service and potential to bring diverse and distinctive backgrounds and experiences to the US Intelligence Community (IC).

As a designated US Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence, Syracuse University is part of the congressionally mandated program funded by the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which partners with universities to increase the diversity of the US intelligence workforce. The ICCAE offers undergraduate and graduate students unique coursework, as well as programmatic and training opportunities to prepare for careers in any of the 17 IC agencies.

The Downey Scholarship is named for John “Jack” Downey, who was one of the first CIA paramilitary officers who distinguished himself under duress. In 1952, while on a clandestine mission during the Korean War, Downey’s aircraft was shot down in Manchuria, and he was imprisoned in China for 21 years. Downey, who later became a Superior Court judge, earned the Distinguished Intelligence Cross, the CIA’s highest award for valor.

Recipients of the Downey Scholarship must be enrolled in, or be in the process of enrolling in, the Syracuse ICCAE program. Students can use the award stipend toward any need they have; many use the funding for travel related to their academic interests, conferences and expanding their skills.

“Downey Scholars are high-achieving students, interested in learning more about the diversity and importance of the work being done among the various Intelligence Community agencies—and how they might contribute one day,” says Carol Faulkner, Chair of the Downey Scholars Selection Committee and Professor of History and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the Maxwell School. “These students have a wide range of backgrounds and skills and a deep commitment to better understanding our world and the forces that shape it. The committee is pleased to honor their dedication and recognize their scholarship with the Downey Scholars Award.”

The students who received the award are:
Other benefits for students who receive the Downey Scholarship include taking part in mentoring incoming SU ICCAE students to guide them through the program; opportunities for leadership development, internships and co-op programs within the IC; and induction into the SU ICCAE program, with recognition certificates from the IC.

  • Courtney Blankenship, graduate student, international relations, security studies, Middle Eastern studies, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs
  • Justin Gluska, sophomore, computer science, College of Engineering and Computer Science
  • Jonathan Hogg, graduate student, forensic science, College of Arts and Science
  • Fiona Leary, graduate student, international relations, Maxwell School
  • Miriam Mokhemar, College of Law
  • Abigail Neuviller ’19, graduate student, public administration, Maxwell School, and College of Law
  • Penny Quinteros, College of Law
  • Grace Sainsbury, sophomore, international relations, College of Arts and Sciences and Maxwell School
  • Ashtha Singh, sophomore, citizenship and civic engagement and international relations, College of Arts and Sciences and Maxwell School, and a member of the Renée Crown University Honors Program
  • Meghan Steenburgh G’97, College of Law
  • Madeline Tadeux, sophomore, biochemistry and forensic science, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Amber Vandepoele, junior, biochemistry and forensic science, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Emily Vecchi, graduate student, forensic science, College of Arts and Sciences

Along with Faulkner, members on the interdisciplinary SU ICCAE Downey Scholars Selection Committee are Kristen Aust, Director of Career Advising, College of Arts and Sciences; Michael Marciano, Research Assistant Professor, Forensic Science, College of Arts and Sciences; Gladys McCormick, Associate Professor, History, Jay and Debe Moskowitz Endowed Chair in Mexico-US Relations and Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Maxwell School; and Robert Murrett, Professor of Practice, Public Administration and International Affairs, Maxwell School, and Deputy Director of the Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and Law.


Ronald K. Weiner named president of MAJ

Posted on Wednesday 6/9/2021

On June 1, 2021, Attorney Ronald K. Weiner began his tenure as the 69th President of the Michigan Association for Justice (MAJ). Weiner’s one-year term runs from June 1, 2021 to May 31, 2022. Steve Pontoni, MAJ Executive Director, made the announcement. “I am incredibly honored that my fellow trial lawyers have entrusted me with the task of guiding MAJ as the 69th president of our organization,” Weiner stated. “This is the proudest moment of my legal career.” Weiner, a partner at Lipton Law Center, PC, in Southfield, handles cases involving medical malpractice, nursing home neglect and automobile/no-fault. He joined MAJ in 1996 and has served as an officer in the association for the past four years. Weiner also co-moderates MAJ’s annual Seminar in the Snow in Bellaire, Mich. 

Stacy M. Young promoted to Senior Counsel

Posted on Wednesday 6/9/2021

Wood, Smith, Henning & Berman is pleased to announce the promotion of Stacy Young, an alumna of Syracuse University School of Law, to Senior Counsel effective June 1, 2021. Senior counsel is a promotion given to select associates who have consistently demonstrated strong legal skills and case handling ability, maintain excellent client relationships, and serve as contributing members of the WSHB team. Please join us in congratulating Stacy on this accomplishment!

Mike Flynn and Military Law: Professor Mark Nevitt Speaks to The Washington Post

Posted on Monday 6/7/2021
Mark P. Nevitt

Why the Pentagon isn’t heeding calls to prosecute Michael Flynn under military law

(The Washington Post | June 5, 2021) When Michael Flynn, a retired three-star general, appeared to back calls for a coup last week, critics accused him of defying military deference to civilian authority, a tenet that is central to the ethos of the armed forces.

Speaking at a QAnon-themed conference in Texas, Flynn was asked why a coup similar to one that occurred in Myanmar could not happen in the United States. Flynn, President Donald Trump’s first national security adviser, has remained a vocal supporter of the former president and the false assertion he won a second term in office.

“I mean, it should happen here,” Flynn responded to the questioner, a man who identified himself as a Marine. “No reason.”

While Flynn subsequently disavowed any support for a coup on social media, saying his words had been misrepresented by the media, the comments intensified calls from some lawmakers and other critics for the military to prosecute the former officer, who receives a military pension, for sedition ...

... According to Mark Nevitt, a former military lawyer who teaches law at Syracuse University, most of the instances in which the military had used the UCMJ to hold retirees accountable have had a “clear military nexus,” for example when an incident occurs on a military base or involves a military victim ...

Read the full article.

John M. Caster Obituary

Posted on Friday 6/4/2021

John Michael Caster passed away Jan. 4, 2021. Mike was a survivor. Brain stem tumor in '82, stroke '92, bladder cancer '09, brain surgery '11. Although his body increasingly failed him, the spark in his bright blue eyes never faded until he passed away Jan. 4. He received a B.S. in physics; minor in philosophy from Hobart and his J.D. from Syracuse College of Law. He is survived by wife Jan and his "kiddos" - Amy, Bryan, Rory and Andy. 

Chantal Wentworth-Mullin Publishes on the VA and Technology in Michigan Bar Journal

Posted on Friday 6/4/2021
Chantal Wentworth-Mullin
"Technology Marches Ahead at VA: Is It Leaving Some Veterans and Advocates Behind?" Michigan Bar Journal, vol. 100, no. 5. 

On the modernization landing page of its website, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs states that “modernization is delivering a stronger future by transforming VA into a high-performing organization that is simplifying operations and empowering employees to deliver superior customer service, while enabling veterans to more easily access the high-quality care and benefits they have earned.”

With the VA modernization goal in mind, Chantal Wentworth-Mullin's article focuses on existing and emerging technology within the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA); electronic access to veterans’ claim files; VA use of artificial intelligence optical reading technologies; the direct upload process; and virtual hearings. 

Many of the changes VA has implemented have provided greater efficiency for veterans and their families; for others, they have created roadblocks to advocacy ...

Professor Nina Kohn: Long-Term Care After COVID—A Roadmap for Law Reform

Posted on Friday 6/4/2021
Nina Kohn

(Bill of Health/Harvard Law Petrie-Flom Center | June 2, 2021) Between May 2020 and January 2021, 94 percent of U.S. nursing homes experienced at least one COVID-19 outbreak. And nursing home residents — isolated from family and friends, dependent on staff often tasked with providing care to far more residents than feasible, and sometimes crowded into rooms with three or more people — succumbed the virus at record rates. By March 2021, nursing home residents accounted for a quarter of all U.S. COVID-19-related deaths.

The poor conditions in nursing homes that have been exposed by the pandemic are symptomatic of long-standing problems in the industry.

Fortunately, as I discuss in-depth in a new essay in the Georgetown Law Journal Online, there are a series of practical reforms that could readily improve the quality of nursing home care, in large part by changing the incentives for nursing home providers.

A key problem exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic is the danger of chronic understaffing in nursing homes. Low staffing levels — and especially low levels of nursing staff — predict facilities’ inabilities to control COVID-19 outbreaks and avoid fatalities.

The dangers of understaffing were an open secret long before the pandemic. Even before the pandemic, researchers had shown that most facilities lacked the staff necessary to avoid systemic neglect. Likewise, pre-pandemic nursing homes’ inspection reports provided ample evidence of facilities lacking the staff needed to care for residents (such as those needed to help residents eat without choking, maintain mobility, or simply stay cleanProPublica’s database of nursing home inspection reports, for example, turns up scores of cases of residents with maggot-infested wounds and skin in the two years preceding the pandemic) …

Read the full article.

Professors Berger and Gouldin Promoted to Rank of Professor

Posted on Thursday 6/3/2021
College of Law

Dean Craig M. Boise announces that, with the concurrence of Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud and the University Board of Trustees, professors Todd Berger and Lauryn Gouldin have been promoted to the rank of Professor.

Professor Berger joined the College of Law faculty in 2012. His scholarship addresses criminal law and procedure, as well as the intersection of trial advocacy and attorney ethics. Berger also serves as Director of Advocacy Programs. Under his direction, the Travis H.D. Lewin Advocacy Honor Society competition teams continue an impressive run of results on the regional and national scale. 

The program currently is the 11th-ranked Trial Advocacy program in the nation (U.S. News & World Report) and in the top 10 in the nation as ranked by the Trial Competition Performance Ranking. Students have competed in four of the last five Top Gun National Mock Trial Competitions and Syracuse Law has won the New York State Bar Association’s Tiffany Cup for the past three years. Professor Berger also has overseen the creation of three Syracuse-hosted advocacy competitions: the Syracuse National Trial Competition, the Transatlantic Negotiation Competition, and the National Disability Law Appellate Competition. 

Berger received Syracuse University’s Meredith Teaching Recognition Award in 2017 and has twice been honored with the College of Law's Res Ipsa Loquitur Award, by the graduating classes of 2015 and 2020. 

Professor Gouldin teaches criminal procedure, criminal law, evidence, constitutional law, and criminal justice reform. Her scholarship focuses on the Fourth Amendment, pretrial detention and bail reform, and judicial decision-making. Her articles have appeared in the University of Chicago Law Review, BYU Law Review, Denver Law Review, Fordham International Law Journal, and the American Criminal Law Review, among others. Gouldin also leads the Syracuse Civics Initiative, which supports civics education for young people, especially in under-resourced schools.  

Gouldin received a Meredith Teaching Recognition Award in 2015. In 2014 and 2015, the College's Student Bar Association presented Gouldin with its Outstanding Faculty Award, and the Class of 2018 awarded her the College's Res Ipsa Loquitur Award. 

Professor Todd Berger
Professor Todd Berger
Professor Lauryn Gouldin
Professor Lauryn Gouldin

Carla M. Palumbo elected President of NY Bar Foundation

Posted on Thursday 6/3/2021

The New York Bar Foundation has announced that Carla M. Palumbo has been elected president for the Foundation. Palumbo will begin her term as the president of the Foundation’s Board of Directors effective June 1 and will serve a term of up to three years. She has served on the board for 15 years and has been active on the Foundation’s grants review, nominating, and personnel committees, while also serving as vice president since 2018. Palumbo has been a Fellow of the Foundation since 2004 and is currently in the Cardozo Circle of Giving. Palumbo has served as President and CEO of the Legal Aid Society of Rochester since 2014 and recently celebrated her 37th anniversary with the organization, where she began as a staff attorney in 1984. 

Professor Nina Kohn: Summit Recommendation Will “Fundamentally Reshape Guardianship Practice in the US”

Posted on Thursday 6/3/2021
Nina Kohn

Guardianship—the process by which a court appoints a surrogate decision-maker for a person found unable to make decisions for themselves—has been the subject of recent extensive criticism, in part because of the #FreeBrittany movement related to singer Britney Spears’ conservatorship case.

Across May 10-14, the National Guardianship Network held its Fourth National Guardianship Summit, hosted by Syracuse University College of Law and the Syracuse Law Review. The nation’s leading experts in guardianship and its alternatives convened to chart an agenda for reforming guardianship law and practice. They adopted several innovative recommendations, including the abolition of plenary (unlimited) guardianship.

The Summit’s full list of recommendations are available on Syracuse Law’s website. They subsequently will be published—alongside the articles prepared to inform the Summit’s deliberations—in a future issue of the Law Review.

“Summit participants were voting delegates from national organizations focused on disability rights, elder law, and guardianship, as well as a diverse group of observers, including more than a dozen international advocates and scholars,” says Professor Nina Kohn, a specialist in guardianship and conservatorship and one of the experts who organized the Summit. “Participants debated and voted on a series of concrete recommendations that will serve to guide policy in the coming decade.”

Recommendations adopted by the Summit are groundbreaking, observes Kohn, including the abolition of plenary guardianship. “The Summit recommended that states instead require all guardianships to be tailored to the individual’s specific situation,” says Kohn. “If adopted, this approach will fundamentally reshape guardianship practice in the United States. Most guardianships currently in place are plenary, stripping those who are subject to them all rights that can possibly be stripped under state law.”

Adds Kohn, “As with the 2013 Third Summit, the 2021 Fourth Summit proved to be a consensus conference that has adopted a far-reaching set of recommendations for guardian standards, as well as additional recommendations for action by courts, legislatures, and other entities.”

Aaron Records joins Bousquet Holstein PLLC

Posted on Thursday 6/3/2021
Aaron Records

Bousquet Holstein PLLC is pleased to announce that Aaron C. Records has joined Bousquet Holstein PLLC.  Records has joined Bousquet Holstein as an Associate Attorney in the firm’s Brownfield’s Practice Group. Aaron will guide clients in preparing and filing claims for the New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) tax credits, as well as defending their claims through the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance’s (“DTF”) desk audit and full examination processes. Originally from New Hampshire, Aaron earned his bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Creative Writing from Colby-Sawyer College. Aaron spent one semester abroad as a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholar at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. He earned his law degree at Syracuse University College of Law where he served on the Pro Bono Advisory Board, contributed to the Syrian Accountability Project, and was the Editor-in-Chief of Impunity Watch and the Journal of Global Rights and Organizations. After graduating from law school, Aaron worked as an associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP’s New York City office in their State and Local Tax Income and Franchise department, assisting large clients with both income tax consulting and compliance services. Aaron currently resides in Syracuse with his family.

Francisco Palao-Ricketts joins Goodwin

Posted on Wednesday 6/2/2021

Global law firm Goodwin announced June 1st that Cisco Palao-Ricketts joined the firm's ERISA and Executive Compensation practice as partner in the Silicon Valley office. Palao-Ricketts handles the full range of executive compensation and benefits matters, with a particular focus on the executive compensation and benefits aspects of M&A, IPOs, and SPAC transactions. He is experienced in advising startup, emerging growth, and public companies regarding compensation and employee benefit issues. In his prior role, Palao-Ricketts co-led a global law firm’s U.S. Executive Compensation and Benefits practice. 

Professor Nina Kohn Writes in The Hill: It's Time to Care About Home Care

Posted on Wednesday 6/2/2021
Professor Nina Kohn

In an opinion article published in The Hill, Professor Nina Kohn reacts to the potential positive impact on Medicaid-covered home and community-based services (HCBS) outlined in President Biden's American Jobs Plan.

Kohn summarizes, "Biden’s proposed $400 billion investment in home and community-based care is consistent with what we have learned from the COVID-19 pandemic: Long-term care should not require institutionalization. Politicians have an opportunity to show that they learned that lesson by expanding access to home and community-based care and investing in the essential workers who provide it." 

Professor Paula Johnson Speaks with KCBS on the 100th Anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre

Posted on Tuesday 6/1/2021
Professor Paula Johnson

Professor Paula Johnson recently spoke with KCBS (San Francisco, CA) on the 100th Anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre. When asked what the Tulsa Race Massacre shows us about the historical erasure of violence against Black people, Johnson said, “Even as something as horrific as the Tulsa Race Massacre we will go to great lengths to bury the history so that it isn’t known, not only by contemporary generations but by subsequent generations and that is the very strength and enduring legacy of white supremacy.”

Memorial Day: A Student Veteran's Perspective

Posted on Monday 5/31/2021
Scott Deutsch with daughter Lauren Deutsch L'23

By 2L Scott Deutsch
Budget Analyst, USSOCOM

Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer. On Memorial Day, stores offer sales, banks and businesses are closed, and everyone celebrates a long weekend. However, if not for the brave men and women who died in battle, our nation would not enjoy these privileges. Instead of saying we “celebrate” on Memorial Day, I like to say we “remember.” On Memorial Day, instead of thanking veterans for their service, it’s more appropriate to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Memorial Day is a day to remember those brave men and women who gave their lives defending our freedom, including mine.   

Many military-connected students walk the corridors of Dineen Hall. Syracuse University College of Law enjoys a robust population of active duty students, student veterans, military family members, and students aspiring to join the service. Because of this dynamic, many of our fellow students have lost a family member or friend.

I began my Army career by walking into an Army recruiting office in 1990. I had the distinct honor and pleasure to serve alongside many incredible men and women. I had many mentors and formed strong bonds with my fellow soldiers, who I considered family. One of those soldiers was Major Henry Ofeciar. Major Ofeciar had a smile that lit up a room, was a driven and motivating individual, and an incredible leader. He took the time to personally mentor and guide me in my profession. In late August 2007, I learned that Major Ofeciar was killed in combat when enemy forces using small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades attacked his unit in Afghanistan. I still grieve his death today.

Every year, my Memorial Day begins with me remembering Major Ofeciar. I remember him, his service, his family, and the many other service members who lost their lives in defense of our freedom and way of life. While I appreciate when people thank me for my service, please save “thank you for your service” for November 11—Veterans Day—when we honor all veterans for their service. This Memorial Day, take and offer a moment of reflection and instead say, "We remember."

Amy Disel Allman receives award

Posted on Friday 5/28/2021

Amy Disel Allman, Director of Advocacy for Virginia Legal Aid Society (VLAS), Managing Attorney of the VLAS Foreclosure Prevention & Consumer Protection Project, and VLAS representative within the ACES Justice Project of the Virginia Legal Aid Community, has received the Virginia State Bar 2021 Legal Aid Award honoring excellence in legal aid society work. Allman was nominated by David B. Neumeyer, executive director of the Virginia Legal Aid Society, who noted that Allman “..has been a strong advocate and program leader since she began work for VLAS in 2008, but she has accelerated her impact since the start of the pandemic.”

Ekin Senlet recognized by Chambers

Posted on Thursday 5/27/2021
Ekin Senlet

Chambers listed Ekin Senlet, Partner at Barclay Damon, as a notable practitioner in Energy: State Regulatory & Wholesale Electric Market. She was ranked for the first time this year. 

Elizabeth Snyder joins Maynard Cooper & Gale

Posted on Thursday 5/27/2021
Elizabeth Snyder

Maynard Cooper & Gale (Maynard) is pleased to announce that Elizabeth Snyder has joined the Firm’s Cybersecurity & Privacy Practice office in its New York office.Snyder is an experienced lawyer who assists clients across a broad industry spectrum with privacy obligations, including those under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). She helps clients navigate the changing compliance and regulatory requirements in the United States and internationally. Snyder also leverages her due diligence experience to provide privacy, security, and intellectual property subject matter expertise in merger and acquisition negotiations.

Dean Craig M. Boise Appointed as Representative to Syracuse University Board of Trustees

Posted on Wednesday 5/26/2021
Dean Craig M. Boise

(SU News | May 25, 2021) Craig Boise, dean of the College of Law, has been named dean representative to the Board of Trustees by Chancellor Kent Syverud. Lori Brown, professor of architecture, and director of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the School of Architecture, has been named faculty representative to the board by the provost, in consultation with the University Senate Academic Affairs Committee. Both Boise and Brown will serve two-year terms.

In addition, new student representatives to the board have also been named, including David Bruen ’23, undergraduate in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and president of the Student Association; and Yousr Dhaouadi ’17, doctoral student in the Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering in the College of Engineering and Computer Science and president of the Graduate Student Organization.

These representatives of the campus community bring diverse backgrounds and insights to the Board and its various committees and will be vital voices in helping the University implement strategic objectives in support of its mission and vision.

Craig M. Boise

Boise came to Syracuse University in 2016 as dean of the College of Law and professor of law, bringing extensive experience in academic leadership and a passion for innovation in legal education. In his years as dean here and at Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall School of Law, he established one of the nation’s two largest hybrid online J.D. programs, the first online joint J.D./MBA program, one of the earliest master of legal studies programs for non-lawyers, the nation’s first law school-based incubator for solo practitioners, and a “risk-free” J.D. program granting a master’s degree in law to students who elect not to pursue a law career after successfully completing their first year of law school.

Boise is a member of the ABA’s Council for the Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, the official accrediting body for U.S. law schools, and was recently appointed to the Advisory Council of the newly formed ABA Legal Education Police Practices Consortium, where he will help lead efforts that promote better policing practices throughout the United States. Prior to his academic career, Boise practiced international and corporate tax law. He earned an LL.M degree in tax law from New York University, a J.D. degree from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in political science summa cum laude from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Boise will serve the first year of his two-year term as dean representative during the 2021-22 academic year. He will participate, ex officio, on the Board of Trustees' Academic Affairs Committee, and report to the board at Executive Committee and full board meetings ...

Read the full story.

Apple v. Epic: Professor Shubha Ghosh Reviews Case with Yahoo Finance

Posted on Tuesday 5/25/2021
Shubha Ghosh

Apple vs. Epic Games antitrust trial nears conclusion

(Yahoo Finance | May 24, 2021) The Apple VS. Epic Games courtroom battle is expected to end today. Syracuse University Professor of Law and Syracuse Intellectual Property Law Institute Director Shubha Ghosh joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss.

AKIKO FUJITA: Lawyers for Apple and Epic Games presenting their closing arguments in court today. A final ruling in the case isn't expected for weeks, but the questions raised in the courtroom could have broader implications for other antitrust cases into the tech giant. Let's bring in Shubha Ghosh, Syracuse University professor of law and Intellectual Property Law Institute director there. Shubha, it's good to talk to you.

The key questions for Apple, of course, going into this was whether, in fact, they'd abused their position in the market in terms of setting up those policies within the App Store, charging some of those commissions. We heard Tim Cook over on Friday say that a lot of this really was about to protect the privacy of users. How do you think this case shapes up right now for Apple, as we round out the closing arguments today?

SHUBHA GHOSH: Yeah, I think it's always a very difficult case for the plaintiffs in antitrust. I think there are some complicated issues here about whether Apple is a monopolist, whether there are alternatives for consumers, and also a question about what exactly is the competitive harm that Epic is complaining about, and how the court can remedy it. I'm not as convinced about the privacy arguments, whether that's really beneficial to Apple, or may even be relevant to the final outcome of the case.

AKIKO FUJITA: How high was the bar for Epic Games going into the case, in terms of proving Apple's monopoly? And do you think the lawyers were able to present a case that met it?

SHUBHA GHOSH: I think, you know, Epic's strategy, it seemed to me, was to basically focus on the platform, to focus on the gaming platform through the App Store, while Apple is trying to argue that there are lots of other alternatives to the Apple Store in order to get access to Epic Games. So it's a fairly high burden, in terms of really trying to characterize this market and in terms of how consumers buy these games and to really convince the court—and this is a bench trial, not a jury trial—that the relevant market is the one for the App Store, rather than a broader market for games ...

Read the full story.

Wendy A. Kinsella appointed judge

Posted on Monday 5/24/2021

Chief Judge Debra Ann Livingston of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit announced today that the Court of Appeals will appoint Wendy A. Kinsella as a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of New York in Syracuse. Chief Judge Livingston stated, “Wendy Kinsella is a great addition to an excellent court. We are thrilled to welcome her to the bankruptcy court in the Northern District and look forward to working with her. This is a happy day.” Ms. Kinsella is a partner and the leader of the Financial Restructuring, Bankruptcy, and Creditors’ Rights practice group at Harris Beach PLLC. Kinsella will officially assume her duties on June 7 in a private ceremony. 

Syracuse Law and the National Disabled Law Students Association Announce Inaugural National Disability Law Appellate Competition

Posted on Monday 5/24/2021
College of Law

Syracuse University College of Law and the National Disabled Law Students Association (NDLSA) will co-host the inaugural National Disability Law Appellate Competition (NDLAC), to be held virtually March 25-27, 2022.

This new advocacy competition will feature a minimum of 12 teams from law schools across the United States. The competition problem will cover a significant and timely legal issue in disability law and will consist of an appellate brief writing component and an oral argument component. Syracuse Law’s Travis H.D. Lewin Advocacy Honor Society and the Disability Law Society are co-sponsors of the competition.

“NDLAC is the first national appellate advocacy competition to focus exclusively on disability law. It will enable students to develop their oral advocacy skills while simultaneously navigating a challenging important area of disability law,” says Professor Michael Schwartz, Director of Syracuse Law’s Disability Rights Clinic. “The competition will replicate a realistic appellate court setting by exposing students to actual judges and lawyers who are familiar with appellate practice.”

Each team may be comprised of two or three students. Teams will be assigned to represent either the petitioner or respondent and will write an appellate brief on behalf of that assigned party. During the preliminary rounds, each team will argue on behalf of each party. The highest-scoring teams will then move on to the quarterfinal round, the semifinal round, and ultimately the final round where a winning team will be decided.

“The College of Law encourages law students from across the country to participate in this new, first-of-its-kind advocacy competition—and to be part of history!” says Professor Todd Berger, Faculty Director of Advocacy Programs at Syracuse Law. “Breaking new ground in advocacy competition, I’m pleased to add NDLAC to Syracuse Law’s two other national and international tournaments, the Syracuse National Trial Competition and the Transatlantic Negotiation Competition.”

For information, visit the NDLAC webpage. Applications will open in August 2021.

Seven Alumni Join Dean Boise on Inaugural WNY Daily Record Power 50 List

Posted on Wednesday 5/19/2021
Power 50

"When we decided to launch our Power List series, we knew it would be a difficult task to select just 50 power players in the Western New York legal community for our inaugural Power 50 list," write the editors of the WNY Daily Record. "We are pleased with the makeup of this list of leaders."

The 2021 WNY Power 50 List includes lawyers who are running law firms or regional offices, judges, civil legal services leaders, law school deans, bar association directors, and more.

Joining Dean Craig M. Boise on the list of leaders are Carla M. Palumbo L’82, Hon. James P. Murphy L’84, Anna E. Lynch L’86, Sandra J. Doorley L’88, Brian J. Butler L’96, Cressida A. Dixon L’96, and Jared C. Lusk L’98. Biographies of—and Q&As with—Power 50 leaders can be found here.  

"We are optimistic that the people and organizations listed will play a large role in helping Western New York recover from the pandemic," the editors add. 

Chantal Wentworth-Mullin Appointed to NYSBA Committee on Veterans

Posted on Tuesday 5/18/2021
Chantal Wentworth-Mullin

Chantal Wentworth-Mullin, Managing Director of the Betty and Michael D. Wohl Veterans Legal Clinic, has been appointed to the New York State Bar Association Committee on Veterans by T. Andrew Brown, NYSBA President-Elect. She begins her term on June 1, 2021.

As a member of the committee, Wentworth-Mullin will assist her colleagues—including co-chairs Art Cody of the Veteran Advocate Project and Jessica Parker of Credit Suisse—in program development, advocacy, and strategic collaborations that address the legal issues and needs of military servicemembers, veterans, and their families.

“I am very excited and honored to have another avenue through which I am able to assist Veterans in New York State," says Wentworth-Mullin. 

WRVO Interviews Professor Mary Szto About Rise in Anti-Asian Violence

Posted on Friday 5/14/2021
Mary Szto

Increase in violence hits close to home for Asian Americans in CNY

(WRVO | May 13, 2021) ... Syracuse University College of Law professor Mary Szto said the recent rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans is part of a pattern dating back to the 19th century. 

"Unfortunately, almost as soon they started to arrive in larger numbers, they were mistreated, they were murdered, they were blamed for economic downturns and for disease, so we're basically re-living what happened in the 1800s," said Szto.

Professor Szto said to break the cycle, there has to be a reckoning on many levels. First, she would like to see an apology from the government regarding past mistreatment of Asian Americans. Also, she said the government, schools, religious institutions, and families need to develop a unified message that discrimination is not acceptable. 

"The taunting that people do as children has turned into verbal assaults that we see during the pandemic. We see video clips of adults harassing Asians in restaurants and saying 'go back to where you came from. You don't belong here. You brought the virus here,'" said Szto ...

Read the full story.

Apple Vs. Epic: Professor Shubha Ghosh Speaks to South Korean Media

Posted on Thursday 5/13/2021
Shubha Ghosh

(eFM This Morning | May 12, 2021) Analysis on the recent court battle between Apple and Epic Games with Professor Shubha Ghosh, Director of Syracuse Intellectual Property Law Institute. 

Listen to the podcast

Dafni Kiritsis '97 Joins Syracuse Law as Director of Externships and Career Services

Posted on Tuesday 5/11/2021
Dafni Kiritsis '97

Syracuse University College of Law is pleased to announce that Dafni Kiritsis has accepted the position of Director of Externships and Career Services. Reporting to the Assistant Dean of Career Services, Kiritsis will help to build and implement programs and services for the Office of Career Services and lead the College's growing Externship Program. Kiritsis begins in her new post on June 15, 2021.

Kiritsis joins Syracuse Law from Syracuse University’s Office of Human Resources, where she most recently held the position of Senior Human Resources Business Partner, serving the HR needs of University business, finance, and administrative services and as an HR liaison to the College of Law.

Before joining the University, Kiritsis was an attorney in the US Department of Veterans Affairs Office of District Counsel. Before that role, she practiced law at Green & Seifter Attorneys PLLC, now Bousquet Holstein PLLC. Kiritsis received her J.D. from Albany Law School of Union University and her B.A. from Syracuse University.

"Syracuse Law prides itself on our robust Externship Program and pro bono and clerkship placements, all part of our applied learning-focused curriculum," says Dean Craig M. Boise. "An excellent fit for the position of Director of Externships and Career Services, our students will benefit greatly from Dafni's extensive law and human resources background. I look forward to working with Dafni on the continued expansion of our Externship Program into new markets and on innovative academic offerings, such as Third Year Away."

Professor Roy Gutterman: Assaults on Press Freedom Endanger Democracy

Posted on Tuesday 5/11/2021
Roy Gutterman

(Syracuse.com | April 30, 2021) In 1991, a group of international journalists and press freedom advocates convened in Windhoek, Namibia, to forge a declaration for press freedom for media, governments and citizens around the world.

The Declaration of Windhoek on Promoting and Independent and Pluralistic African Press incorporated the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 19, which calls for press freedom around the world. The Windhoek Declaration has been annually memorialized through UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day, recognized on May 3.

Among its 19 declarations, it calls for “… the establishment, maintenance and fostering of an independent, pluralistic and free press is essential to the development and maintenance of democracy in a nation, and for economic development.”

The world was a different place 30 years ago. The fall of the Soviet Union fostered emerging democracies throughout Eastern Europe and democratic movements grew in Africa and parts of Asia. The internet had not yet gone commercial so ordinary citizens could log on to send and receive vast amounts of information from all corners of the world. Newspapers were still printing and CNN was reaching its apex as one of the world’s most prominent news outlets ...

Read the full story

Virginia C. Robbins Joins Syracuse Law as Interim Assistant Dean of Career Services

Posted on Monday 5/10/2021
Ginny Robbins

Syracuse University College of Law is pleased to announce that Virginia C. Robbins has joined the College in the position of Interim Assistant Dean of Career Services. As Interim Assistant Dean, Robbins will develop programs and services to support and advise students as they embark on their career journeys and assist employers and alumni seeking to engage and hire Syracuse Law talent. Robbins began in her new post on May 1, 2021.

Until recently of counsel at Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC, Robbins retired as a member of the law firm in December 2018. During her tenure, Robbins chaired Bond's environmental and energy practice (2000-2016), advising clients on state and federal regulatory compliance issues, particularly in the areas of air and water pollution control and solid and hazardous waste management.

Robbins served on Bond's management committee from 2004 to 2005 and again from 2014 to 2015. She has been listed in Best Lawyers in America (Environmental Issues) for more than 10 years, and she has served in the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources and the New York State Bar Association Environmental and Energy Law Section (Chair, 2004-2005). She is Founding Chair of the Central New York Chapter of the Air and Waste Management Association (1995-1996) and a Board Member and Past President (2005-2007) of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry Foundation Inc. Robbins holds a B.A. from Rutgers University; a J.D. from Rutgers Law School (with honors); and an M.A. from Middlebury College.

"We are excited that Ginny has chosen to serve the College of Law in this capacity," says Dean Craig M. Boise. "Her substantial track record as a lawyer and field builder, her people and mentoring skills, and her vast network of resources will serve us and our students well." 

Syracuse University College of Law, Syracuse Law Review Host Fourth National Guardianship Summit

Posted on Monday 5/10/2021
College of Law

Convened by the National Guardianship Network and hosted by Syracuse University College of Law and Syracuse Law Review, the Fourth National Guardianship Summit takes place virtually across May 10-14, 2021. Participants will discuss the current state of the nation’s guardianship system and develop recommendations for future reform, with the summit organized around the theme of "Maximizing Autonomy and Ensuring Accountability".

"Syracuse Law is truly honored to host the Fourth Summit. This invitation-only event brings together the nation’s leading experts in  guardianship and alternatives to guardianship, as well as international observers," says Nina A. Kohn, David M. Levy Professor of Law and Faculty Director of Online Education. "Participants will work together through a series of working groups and structured discussions to create a consensus agenda for the next decade’s law reform in this area." 

This Fourth Summit is the first such summit held since 2011. In that time, the United States has undergone dramatic demographic shifts in aging and disability populations; continued reform of state guardianship law; a new uniform guardianship act (for which Professor Kohn acted as Reporter); and the evolution of the concept of supported decision-making as an autonomy-increasing alternative to guardianship.

Nevertheless, reports of financial exploitation and abuse by guardians, as well as limited resources to track and monitor their activity, continue to make headlines.

The Fourth Summit will address many of these issues, with discussions of guardianship abuse, limited guardianship and conservatorship, protective arrangements in lieu of guardianship, supported decision-making, judicial accountability, monitoring of guardians, and more. The full agenda can be read here

Syracuse Law Review is excited to co-host this important event,” says 2L Hilda Frimpong, incoming Law Review Editor-in-Chief. “My editorial team and I will publish many of the summit’s presented papers in a forthcoming volume. It is an amazing opportunity to be involved in such critical reform conversation while still in law school and to know that the resulting volume will be a go-to resource for guardianship reform for years to come.”  

In addition to Frimpong, the following law students will serve as working group co-hosts throughout the week: 3Ls Ki-jana Crawford and Nikkia Knudsen; 2Ls Elizabeth Dannan, Leita Powers, and Grace Sullivan; and 1Ls Penelope Boettiger and Isaac Kelvin Onyango.

Professor Shannon Gardner Receives Meredith Teaching Recognition Award for Continuing Excellence

Posted on Monday 5/10/2021
Shannon Gardner

Teaching Professor Shannon Gardner has been awarded a Syracuse University 2021-2022 Meredith Teaching Recognition Award for Continuing Excellence in Teaching, recognizing her contributions to teaching and learning, on the recommendation of a committee of Meredith Professors, previous Teaching Recognition Awardees, and student representatives. The award is one of the highest teaching honors bestowed by the University.

Twice honored by LL.M. students with the Lex Lucet Mundum Award (in 2017 and 2019), Gardner has served as a member of the faculty since 2010. She teaches legal writing classes in Syracuse Law's J.D. and JDinteractive programs, and Introduction to the American Legal System in the Masters of Law in American Law (LL.M.) program. As part of the LL.M. program, Gardner has taught and presented at conferences around the world.

Before joining Syracuse Law, Professor Gardner was a practicing attorney for 15 years, including 11 years as a federal criminal prosecutor with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

Each year, Syracuse University bestows two Teaching Recognition Awards for Continuing Excellence to tenured, non-tenure-track, adjunct, and part-time professors with five or more years teaching experience at the University. Teaching Recognition Award for Continuing Excellence recipients receive $10,000 for further professional development.

The Climate Challenge: Professor Mark Nevitt Interviewed by Yale Climate Connections

Posted on Monday 5/10/2021
Mark P. Nevitt

Revitalized U.S. urgency on climate change and national security

(Yale Climate Connections | May 7, 2021) "An urgent national security threat.”

That’s the phrase U.S. Director of National intelligence Avril Haines used in describing climate change at the White House Climate Summit on Earth Day a few weeks ago.

It’s the kind of language that national security interests have applied previously, but not since the Trump administration took office on January 20, 2017, and soon put the kibosh on such talk. Conversations about climate change and national security continued under the Trump presidency, but not so much in the open, and certainly not with the imprimatur of the Oval Office ...

... While climate change and global security for some time have been a topic of policy deliberations, the Global Trends 2040 report brings climate change to the forefront more than any of its predecessors had done. 

“It’s a pretty clear-eyed objective report,” [Professor Mark] Nevitt said. “There’s five different themes on the first few pages. And climate change is right there with the global challenges, right there with technology, disruption, disease, financial crisis" ... 

... Nevitt noted that he is pleased the report digs into areas like attribution science which is used to understand the role climate change plays in shaping weather events, and also explores the importance of feedback loops. “That’s sort of the cutting edge of climate science that’s being integrated into an intelligence document,” He said. “That shows me that there’s a real active engagement, it’s not passive.”

Nevitt’s only qualm? He is concerned the report may be overly optimistic about how much the international community can agree on a critical point: quickly reducing, and perhaps also eliminating, greenhouse gas emissions in order to prevent exceeding 1.5°C of warming even earlier than the report expects ...

Read the full story.

Watch: Commencement Exercises for the Classes of 2020 and 2021

Posted on Friday 5/7/2021
College of Law

Congratulations Graduates! YOU DID IT!!

What They Said

Dean Boise: "You are ready to make life changing shifts, and to meet extraordinary challenges head on. Yes, you will take the lead, and inspire greatness. You will widen our focus. I am excited for the future."

Commencement Speaker Joanna Geraghty L'97, President & COO, JetBlue Airways: "The rule of law can never have enough friends across the globe, where it can appear to be under siege at different times and in different circumstances. Syracuse taught you that, be a friend to the rule of law wherever and whenever you come across it—and you will." 

Troy D. Parker, President, Class of 2021: "We understood that the skills we were mastering in the College of Law would elevate us to a position of power within society, whether we seek it now or not. We had the skills to effectuate change in our communities across the country."

Fildous Hamid, LL.M. Representative, Class of 2021: "I believe education is the only catalyst of change and it lies in us to use what we have learned here in our various professions to effect change and make the world a better place for the generations to come."

Message from Dean Boise: New College of Law Cultural Competency Developments

Posted on Friday 5/7/2021
College of Law

Dear College of Law Community,

As we approach the end of yet another academic year and promote a new class of graduates into the field, I’d like to share with you two important developments in our efforts to achieve a more inclusive College of Law community.

Our commitment to fostering a campus community that is free from discrimination and that embraces the diversity of its community members is rooted in the belief that multiple points of view and different life experiences, ethnicities, cultures, and belief systems are essential to academic excellence and to your successful navigation of the world of legal practice upon graduation.

First, in the fall of 2020 I asked our faculty’s Curriculum Committee, led by Professor Paula Johnson, to develop a recommendation to the faculty as to the adoption of a required course for all College of Law students addressing issues related to race and ethnicity, historical racism, cultural competence, and implicit bias, or, in the alternative, a series of modules on these topics that would be embedded in several different, existing courses.  

In developing its recommendation, I asked that the Committee consult broadly with all student groups as well as with the College of Law’s Committee on Inclusion Initiatives, led by Professor Suzette Melendez.

At our April 2021 faculty meetings, the Curriculum Committee and the Committee on Inclusion Initiatives reported out on their work and recommended a three-pronged Cultural Competency Curriculum. This new curriculum will be launched this fall and will be applicable to all students beginning with the Class of 2024

The new curriculum consists of:

  • A Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) primer module for Orientation and JDi Residencies, to be launched this August and followed throughout the year by a variety of diversity-related programs and activities in which both students and faculty may participate.
  • A 1L DEI Summer Initiative to develop, under the guidance of faculty, DEI themes and materials that will become part of courses taught throughout the 1L curriculum, beginning this August.
  • A new graduation requirement, applicable to all students beginning with the Class of 2024, which may be satisfied by selecting a cultural competency-related course from a list of several existing courses as well as new courses to be developed. In connection with imposing this new requirement, I have asked our faculty to review and assess all graduation requirements to ensure that College of Law students are afforded a meaningful set of elective courses from which to choose subject matter that is of interest to them.

I am grateful to the Curriculum Committee and the Committee on Inclusion Initiatives, and to all our faculty, for their work in devising the College of Law’s new Cultural Competency Curriculum.  I look forward to sharing more about each of the components over the summer and through the fall. 

Second, I am also proud to announce the establishment of the new Hon. Sandra L. Townes, L’76 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Student Resource Center that will open this fall  on the second floor of the library. Named for the pioneering jurist and educator, the Resource Center will be a space for students and faculty to convene and curate resources for sharing, experiencing, and actualizing diversity and inclusion at the College of Law and in our profession.

Please continue to follow the progress of our work together to advance, to model, and to experience Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, by visiting our Diversity and Inclusion web pages

Best regards,

Craig M. Boise
Dean and Professor of Law

Syracuse Law Announces the Hon. Sandra L. Townes L’76 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Student Resource Center

Posted on Wednesday 5/5/2021
College of Law

Syracuse University College of Law announces the creation of the Hon. Sandra L. Townes L’76 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Student Resource Center. Named for the late jurist and educator who was the first Black woman appointed as a federal judge in the Eastern District of New York, the Student Resource Center will open in Fall 2021, located in the Susan K. Reardon L’76 Room in Dineen Hall's Law Library. 

"Our College is committed to fostering a learning community that celebrates the diversity of its community members, rooted in the belief that understanding different life experiences, ethnicities, cultures, and belief systems are essential to legal and academic excellence," says Dean Craig M. Boise. "Projects such as this ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion is a core value not just in vision but in practice. The Student Resource Center will be a space for students and faculty to convene and curate resources for sharing, experiencing, and actualizing diversity, equity, and inclusion at the College and in our profession." 

"The Law Library is delighted to be the home of the Hon. Sandra L. Townes L’76 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Student Resource Center," says Jan Fleckenstein L’11, Associate Teaching Professor and Director of the Law Library. "The Law Library is central to teaching and scholarship in the College of Law, and the Student Resource Center is the next step in fulfilling our mission to support law students as they grapple with issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the law and in society." 

"We envision the center to both serve as a space to promote diversity and cultural competence and a safe space for minority students to engage with one another," says 2L Mazaher Kaila, BLSA President. "The Student Resource Center will begin as an extended library space where students can access computers, printers, white boards, and books, as well as hold discussions and plan events. Our vision is for this Center eventually to offer student advising, mental health support, support for students with disabilities, and trainings and other tools essential for reaching diversity and inclusion goals." 

Kaila explains the idea for the Student Resource Center grew out of student responses to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN, in May 2020. "My Executive Board and I felt we had to speak up for people like us and other minorities at the College of law," she says. "We were fueled, angry, upset, and overall hurting."

As part of its action, BLSA launched a Black Table Talk series, a dialogue platform for students to engage issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. After the second meeting, and with support from BLSA's national chapter, "we were able to decide and agree that a Resource center would directly benefit minority students because it would give us a sense of inclusion and spread awareness," says Kaila. After further student meetings, BLSA met with the College of Law Administration to develop plans.

“Preliminary steps are being taken to build out and furnish the Student Resource Center, and College of Law staff will seek student input through BLSA about room arrangements and selections for print and electronic collections so that everything can be in place when students arrive in August 2021," says Fleckenstein. "Selection of materials will start in early summer 2021 and continue with ongoing requests and suggestions by students.”

2L Ryan Marquette Receives SVO 2021 Best for Vets Award

Posted on Wednesday 5/5/2021
Ryan Marquette

At its recent awards ceremony, second-year law student Ryan Marquette has received the Student Veterans Organization's Best for Vets Award. 

Marquette is currently pursuing a J.D. from the College of Law and a Master’s of Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. He serves in two leadership positions at Syracuse Law: President of Veterans’ Issues, Support Initiative, and Outreach Network (VISION) and President of the National Security Student Association. 

The Best for Vets Award is presented to the student veteran who has done the most to help student veterans succeed both on and off campus and has gone far above and beyond for his fellow students.


2L Ryan Marquette poses with the 2021 best for Vets Award.
2L Ryan Marquette poses with the 2021 best for Vets Award.

"A Specialized Society?" Professor Mark Nevitt Discusses Monitoring Military for Domestic Extremists in The Washington Post

Posted on Wednesday 5/5/2021
Mark P. Nevitt

The Pentagon wants to take a harder line on domestic extremism. How far can it go?

(The Washington Post | May 5, 2021) Pentagon officials are considering new restrictions on service members’ interactions with far-right groups, part of the military’s reckoning with extremism, but the measures could trigger legal challenges from critics who say they would violate First Amendment rights.

Under a review launched by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Defense Department officials are reexamining rules governing troops’ affiliations with anti-government and white supremacist movements, ties that currently are permissible in limited circumstances.

Austin, who has pledged zero tolerance for extremism, ordered the review after the events of Jan. 6, when rioters including a few dozen veterans — and a handful of current service members — stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to overturn the presidential election results ...

... Mark Nevitt, a former Navy lawyer who teaches at the Syracuse University College of Law, pointed to other cases in which courts have characterized the military as a “specialized society separate from society.”

“Federal courts will likely provide a healthy dose of deference to the military if challenged, particularly if the military can link the new definition to the underlying military mission and good order and discipline,” he said ...

Read the full article.

Professor Greg Germain Comments to CBS News on NRA Bankruptcy Case

Posted on Wednesday 5/5/2021
Greg Germain

Justice Department Objects to National Rifle Association's bankruptcy plan

(CBS News | May 4, 2021) The U.S. Department of Justice is objecting to the National Rifle Association's bankruptcy plan, pointing to what the agency says is mismanagement of funds by leaders of the gun advocacy organization. 

Lisa Lambert, assistant U.S. Trustee in the DOJ's Trustee Office, said Monday during the NRA's bankruptcy case in Texas that the group's longtime CEO, Wayne LaPierre, used NRA funds for his own purposes and failed to properly safeguarded the group's financial records ...

... The judge overseeing the case is likely to appoint an examiner to review whether the NRA had cause to file for Chapter 11, said Gregory Germain, a bankruptcy expert and law professor at Syracuse University. 

"That's the safest thing for the bankruptcy court to do," Germain said. "But it's going to slow things down because everybody is going to be waiting for the examiners' report."

Read the full article.

The Washington Post Speaks to Professor Shubha Ghosh About Apple Anti-Trust Case

Posted on Tuesday 5/4/2021
Shubha Ghosh

Apple takes its fight with Epic Games over the App Store to court

(The Washington Post | May 3, 2021) “Fortnite” maker Epic Games and Apple kicked off their three-week trial Monday in a courtroom battle that could have far reaching implications for the iPhone maker’s business model and U.S. antitrust law.

In opening statements in a federal courthouse in Oakland, Calif., Epic painted Apple as a monopolist that concocted a plan to lure software developers and customers into iOS, its mobile operating system, and then lock them in with onerous and restrictive rules.

Apple painted Epic as an opportunist looking to cut costs with a court case that could destroy iOS and endanger consumers by forcing allowing harmful and malicious apps onto their phones ...

... “At some level, this is a run of the mill antitrust case, in the sense that the issues are fairly standard,” said Shubha Ghosh, a law professor at Syracuse University who focuses on antitrust issues. “Though the facts are unique, and the potential outcome could be very interesting for tech companies like Apple" ...

Read the full story.

"The current climate is certainly one where antitrust is on the rise and there is a concern with bigness as well as issues of price and distribution," said Shubha Ghosh, director of Syracuse University's Intellectual Property Law Institute. "Even though this just involves video games, it could have implications for other platform-based markets and companies like Amazon."

Hon James E. Baker: A DPA for the 21st Century

Posted on Friday 4/30/2021
Hon. James E. Baker

Some commentators say the field of artificial intelligence is ungovernable. It covers many fields and capabilities, they note, and involves a breadth of private and academic actors, many working in secrecy to protect intellectual property and profit potentials. But it is an overstatement to call AI ungovernable.

Several existing laws and executive orders give various agencies and elected officials tools to regulate the national security development of AI, as does the Constitution. Policymakers should become familiar with these tools, examine their strengths and shortcomings, and become involved in efforts to modify and improve the AI governance architecture. As with other “ungovernable” areas, like nonproliferation, where there are also myriad actors and challenges, we can design an effective governance architecture if we are purposeful about doing so. This paper considers one of the most important potential tools in this effort, the Defense Production Act (DPA); however, it would be a more effective tool if updated and used to its full effect.

AI development depends on hardware, data, talent, algorithms, and computational capacity.1 Thus, any law that can (1) help ensure an adequate supply of these assets and in appropriate form; and (2) prioritize the use of these assets to achieve national security policy objectives is an important national security tool. That is not to say the DPA’s full authority should be used at this time. Extraordinary tools, such as the DPA’s allocation authority, might more appropriately be used at a moment of emergency, for example, in time of conflict or should another nation achieve an AI breakout creating decisive security advantage.

Thus, at this time, the most important function a debate about the use of the DPA for AI purposes can serve is to shape and condition expectations and understandings about the role such authorities should, or could, play, as well as to identify essential legislative gaps so that we do not learn of these gaps (and are not hesitant to use the authority we have) when the authority is needed. However, in less dramatic manner, the DPA’s other authorities might well be used, or more fully used at this time to shore up America’s AI supply line, as illustrated with the examples below.

While obscure to the public, the DPA got a burst of national attention in early 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic began overwhelming U.S. hospitals, first in New York City and then elsewhere. In the absence of federal leadership, in March 2020 national security specialists familiar with the DPA urged its full use to mobilize the nation’s capacity to provide medical equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE) to address COVID-19.

In April 2020, as the spreading virus was depleting national supplies of ventilators and PPE for health workers, President Donald Trump generated headlines by invoking the DPA, ostensibly to compel businesses to manufacture such equipment. A second order authorized the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to “use any and all authority available” under the DPA to acquire N95 respirator masks from 3M. By mid-July, however, CNN noted that “the Trump administration has made only sparing use of its authorities [under DPA], leaving front-line workers in dire need of supplies like masks, gowns and gloves.”2

The Trump Administration did eventually use the DPA during the second half of 2020 to prioritize contracts (eighteen times to channel raw materials to the manufacture of vaccines and therapeutics) and to incentivize the production of medical supplies like testing swabs; however, the DPA was never used to full effect, nor in a strategic and transparent manner.

In contrast, as a candidate for the White House, President Biden promised full use of the DPA to put the United States on a “war time” footing to meet COVID supply chain challenges. Since assuming office, the Biden Administration has used the DPA, and other laws, to address bottlenecks in the supply chain for components needed for vaccine manufacture and to prioritize supply contracts to allow Merck to assist in making Johnson & Johnson vaccines. In addition, the Biden Administration has used Title III financing authorities to incentivize the building of factories and supply lines for COVID tests and rubber plants for medical gloves.

What is significant here, is not just that the Biden Administration used the DPA to provide vaccine capacity to plug supply chain gaps, it did so after the president-elect and then president conditioned industry for its use in this manner and directed the federal government to lean into the law. It also made “friendly” use of the DPA, identifying needs in consultation and partnership with industry, with a focus on the result rather than the means. These are lessons worth noting in the AI context going forward. With COVID, as with AI, the legal policy question is not whether and how to use the DPA to accomplish a task but how to use the full range of available law effectively, purposefully to meet the nation’s needs, and in a manner consistent with our values. With COVID, it turned out, the DPA was one of several laws that could be used to harness America’s industrial capacity to address the pandemic.

The government’s handling of the pandemic is a topic for another day. The point here is that the mere mention of the DPA’s potential clout reinforced the view, in some people’s eyes at least, that the law is a vehicle to “nationalize” industry, a “commandeering” authority, which empowers the government to take over and run the nation’s defense industries. This fed into an already existing narrative about government regulation and opposition from the Chamber of Commerce.

In fact, as this paper shows, the DPA contains many different authorities, some narrow and others potentially broad in scope. It is important for policymakers to understand that the DPA is not limited to military equipment and actions, and its powers are not solely addressed to, or limited to, “commandeering.” Rather, the law establishes a national mobilization capacity to bring the industrial might of the U.S. to bear on broader national security challenges, including technology challenges and public health challenges. Thus, the DPA is both a potential macro tool and a micro tool. Its application to artificial intelligence can be substantial.

  1. Ben Buchanan, “The AI Triad and What It Means for National Security Strategy” (Center for Security and Emerging Technology, August 2020), https://cset.georgetown.edu/wp-content/uploads/CSET-AI-Triad-Report.pdfFootnote Link
  2. Priscilla Alvarez, Curt Devine, Drew Griffin, and Kristen Holmes, “Trump administration’s delayed use of 1950s law leads to critical supplies shortages,” CNN, July 14, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/13/politics/delayed-use-defense-production-act-ppe-shortages/index.htmlFootnote Link

"Systemic Neglect": MarketWatch Speaks to Professor Nina Kohn About Nursing Home Reform

Posted on Friday 4/30/2021
Nina Kohn

Nursing-home reform efforts hit roadblocks

(MarketWatch | April 30, 2021) Private-equity firms have been prime targets in long-term-care reform proposals emerging during the COVID-19 crisis. But efforts to overhaul the industry are hitting a snag: that it’s tough to regulate nursing-home owners, operators and related parties when many of them remain in the shadows.

A report set to be released Friday by the Roosevelt Institute, a New York think tank, underscores the problem. Arguing that private-equity firms focus on extracting profits to the detriment of patient care, the report calls on Congress to ban these firms from buying nursing homes and to require those that currently operate facilities to divest from them within five years ...

... But many other researchers say the aim should not be to banish private equity or any other type of nursing-home owner but to hold all industry players to the same, high standards. To tackle concerns about operators putting profits over patients, regulators could make nursing homes less attractive to investors that aim to make a quick buck by skimping on staffing and patient care. That could mean mandating a certain number of staffing hours per resident day and requiring that facilities spend a threshold percentage of federal funds on resident care, says Nina Kohn, a professor at the Syracuse University College of Law.

With those changes, “you’re not simply limiting your focus to private equity,” Kohn says. “You’re really trying to get at the underlying problem, which is that nursing-home owners can make a profit — substantial profit — by deliberately deciding to engage in systemic neglect."

Read the full article.

Professor Shubha Ghosh Weighs In on Consumer Protection and Recovery Act in Consumer Affairs

Posted on Thursday 4/29/2021
Shubha Ghosh

Congressional leaders look to reverse SCOTUS decision limiting the FTC

(Consumer Affairs | April 29, 2021) U.S. lawmakers are attempting to flip last week’s Supreme Court decision that takes away the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) ability to provide restitution to defrauded consumers. If the new ruling sticks, the FTC’s only avenue to compensate customers who have fallen victim to deceptive business practices would come in the form of injunctions, not money.

Three Representatives -- Frank Pallone Jr., (D-NJ), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) -- are leading the fight. Cárdenas has submitted a proposed bill called the Consumer Protection and Recovery Act that would give the FTC more power to provide restitution to fraud victims ...

... While reversing a Supreme Court decision sounds like a daunting task, Professor Shubha Ghosh from the Syracuse University College of Law told ConsumerAffairs that it’s not unusual for Congress to amend legislation to overrule a Court’s reading of a statute. In fact, the Court’s decision essentially invited Congress to rework the legislation, and this could make consumer protections even stronger.

"As for consumer impact in the long run, if Congress responds as indicated, it can strengthen the power of the FTC to fight for consumers,” Ghosh said ...

Read the full story.

Rachel Stanley Nguyen L’07 Discusses Tax Policy and the Lobbying Sector with DCEx Students

Posted on Wednesday 4/28/2021
Rachel Stanley Nguyen L'07

Rachel Stanley Nguyen L’07, Assistant Vice President for Government Relations at Principal Financial Group, has spent more than a decade on a compelling journey toward her current role in the tax policy, tax reform, and Capitol Hill lobbying sector.

Holding an L.L.M. in Taxation from New York University, in addition to her J.D. from Syracuse Law, Stanley Nguyen has served since 2015 in her current government relations role with Principal Financial Group, a Fortune 500 company providing financial and insurance services.

The spring 2021 DCEx cohort met with Stanley Nguyen on April 29, 2021, during the program’s final seminar of the semester. She started her career overview with her experiences at the College of Law, where she realized her passion for tax law and engaging the tax code.  

After Syracuse Law, Stanley Nguyen enrolled at New York University, where she received a broad lessons in tax law and policy while focusing on narrow issues, such as the implications of the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). After completing her LL.M., Stanley Nguyen joined Syracuse-based Bond, Schoeneck & King as an associate working on tax matters, particularly in the retirement context.

After a year at BSK, Stanley Nguyen turned toward a career on Capitol Hill. She told the DCEx students how she networked and built connections in Washington, which led to her first DC-based job at Bloomberg BNA, now called Bloomberg Industry Group, serving as an editor on state tax matters.

Stanley Nguyen then went to work as a legislative director and tax counsel for Ron Kind, a former Congressman from Wisconsin’s third district. She discussed her opportunities in this role to draft tax reform legislation, and she emphasized how critical it was for her future lobbying work to develop Capitol Hill relationships during this experience.

Stanley Nguyen then explored the nuances of government relations, the different contexts in which lobbying is performed, and lobbying dynamics in the nation’s capital. She also discussed the unique nature of the lobbying industry during COVID-19, and the steps a lobbyist must take to enter and advance in this arena.

As students learned, Stanley Nguyen’s career is a template for pursuing work on Capitol Hill, and it illustrates that lobbying is an option for any attorney with a passion for a particular area of law, a desire to network, and an interest in shaping policies that become laws.

As Stanley Nguyen explained, these combined interests have led her to a rewarding career.

Professor Nina Kohn Pens OpEd in The Washington Post on Long-Term Care Reform

Posted on Wednesday 4/28/2021
Nina Kohn

Covid awakened Americans to a nursing home crisis. Now comes the hard part.

(The Washington Post | April 28, 2021) During the worst days of the coronavirus pandemic, the conditions in the United States’ nursing homes were horrific. Nursing home residents account for less than half-of-1-percent of the U.S. population but roughly a quarter of the deaths related to covid-19.

Bodies piled up in makeshift morgues, staff who tested positive for the coronavirus were encouraged to come to work, and understaffing left residents helpless and alone. In a western New York home, with roughly 120 residents, for instance, a nursing assistant reported being — one day in March 2020, as the crisis mounted — the only person on duty.

The problems in America’s nursing homes won’t go away even if we wrestle covid-19 into submission, however. The pandemic exposed long-standing problems in the nursing home industry that stem from chronic understaffing and underspending on care for residents — problems often motivated by owners who place profit-seeking above their residents’ welfare. Spurred by the covid-19 tragedies, some federal and state lawmakers have proposed (and, in some cases, passed) laws designed to improve the quality of nursing home care. It’s a promising start, but much work remains ...

Read the full article.

Elaina Marino joins Addelman Cross & Baldwin, PC

Posted on Tuesday 4/27/2021
Elaina Marino

Addelman Cross & Baldwin, PC (Buffalo, NY) is pleased to announce the addition of Elaina Marino ‘19 as an associate. Ms. Marino’s areas of practice include Professional and Medical Malpractice, Trucking and Transportation, Municipal Law, Insured and Self-Insured Litigation, and Commercial Litigation.  Ms. Marino received her B.A. from State University of New York at Geneseo in 2016 and her J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law in 2019.

Amber L. Lawyer named Deputy Chair

Posted on Tuesday 4/27/2021

Bond, Schoeneck & King is pleased to announce that Amber Lawyer (J.D., Syracuse University College of Law, 2017) will become deputy chair of its Cybersecurity and Data Privacy practice.  Lawyer advises clients on cybersecurity and data privacy compliance issues, including state, federal and international cybersecurity and data privacy laws. She conducts technology and software contract review, data protection risk management assessments, privacy and cybersecurity diligence review for mergers and acquisitions, policy drafting, trainings, data audit and compliance reviews. She also advises her clients on response to data subject requests and complaints, security incidents and data breaches under various state, federal, and international cybersecurity laws including NY SHIELD Act. Lawyer has broad experience with various data privacy regimes including the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and maintains a certification as a CIPP/E (Certified Information Privacy Professional/Europe) attorney.

“We need to be more ambitious": Professor Nina Kohn Speaks to Syracuse.com About Nursing Home Vaccines

Posted on Monday 4/26/2021
Nina Kohn

Not enough CNY nursing home workers get Covid-19 shots; ‘We are in race against time’

(Syracuse.com | April 22, 2021) Nearly 40% of Central New York nursing home employees are still not vaccinated against Covid-19, four months after the government made them a top priority in its massive vaccine roll-out.

While 87% of Central New York nursing home residents have been vaccinated, only 64% of staffers have gotten shots, according to the state Health Department. Fewer than one-third of staffers at some homes in the region have been vaccinated.

The wide gap in vaccination rates is worrisome because employees often unwittingly bring the virus to work and could expose vulnerable residents to another deadly outbreak ...

... Nina Kohn, a Syracuse University law professor and expert in elder law, believes nursing homes should make staff vaccinations mandatory, subject to religious and medical exemptions.

“We need to be more ambitious about this,” she said ...

Read the full article.

Professor Paula Johnson Speaks to Spectrum News on Chauvin Verdict

Posted on Monday 4/26/2021
Paula Johnson

(Spectrum News | April 20, 2021) Professor Paula Johnson: "I think that this will be a chastening moment. Officer Chauvin doesn't represent all law enforcement officers, but we do have systemic issues within law enforcement."

Watch the clip.

Prof. Paula Johnson interviewed by Spectrum News from Syracuse University News on Vimeo.

College of Law Presents on Zoning Law to Onondaga County Officials

Posted on Monday 4/26/2021
College of Law

On April 17, 2021, 61 local planning and zoning officials from Onondaga County participated in the Ninth Annual Update on Zoning Law, hearing from College of Law faculty, alumni, and students on Article 78 Review of Variances, Non-Conforming Uses, Fair Housing, and Disability Law for Zoning.

Presenters included Professor Robin Paul Malloy, E.I. White Chair and Distinguished Professor of Law and Kauffman Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation; alumnus Chris Baiamonte L'19 of Wladis Law Firm; and 2L Wendy Carter. Sally Santangelo, Executive Director of CNY Fair Housing, joined the College of Law team. 

Carter's talk addressed Article 78 Review. "Wendy's presentation was part of our programing for Advanced Property Studies in the planning and zoning area," explains Professor Malloy. "The granting of variances and special use permits is one of the major areas of concern for local zoning officials.  

"Before starting law school, I worked in housing development for more than 10 years. I was always fascinated by the land use approval process, but I never understood the law behind it," says Carter. "When I saw the announcement that Professor Malloy was seeking students to complete a research project that culminates in a presentation to local zoning officials, I was interested right away. The project was a great opportunity for me to learn more about planning and zoning law, and to work one-on-one with a professor with extensive expertise in the area. Professor Malloy provided input about how to focus my research, as well as guidance on how to create a presentation that would be useful for those who have to implement the law on a day-to-day basis."

Added Carter, "There was a lot of great discussion following the presentations, and participants shared local planning challenges and creative solutions. I plan to practice in the housing and real estate development field, so this experience is very relevant to my future work." 

Professor Shubha Ghosh Addresses Google and Evolving Copyright Law with Law360

Posted on Friday 4/23/2021
Shubha Ghosh

Google Just Won a Big Copyright Case. It Isn't the First Time.

(Law360 | April 22, 2021) Google's recent victory over Oracle at the U.S. Supreme Court was just the latest in a string of landmark copyright rulings won by the tech giant that have, for better or worse, made it easier to reuse and share material on the internet.

Handed down earlier this month, the high court's decision said Google had made fair use of Oracle's Java software language in building the Android operating system. Allowing Oracle to enforce its rights, the court said, would serve as "a lock limiting the future creativity of new programs" ...

... But whether it's a good thing or a bad thing, the cases litigated — and often won — by Google have played a major part in helping copyright law "evolve in the context of new digital environments," said Shubha Ghosh, a professor of intellectual property law at Syracuse University College of Law.

"Google has the resources and the vision to expand digital horizons and to meet legal opposition," Ghosh said. "It is a bold engineering company that is willing to defend its legal position as it develops new products and markets in the digital environment" ...

Read the full article.

Professor Lauryn Gouldin: Why Is There Over-Policing for Low-Level Offenses?

Posted on Friday 4/23/2021
Lauryn Gouldin

(The Hill | April 23, 2021) Even as the country breathes a small sigh of relief that Derek Chauvin will be held accountable for killing George Floyd, police violence continues to dominate national headlines. One fundamental question arises in many of these cases: why do we police low-level offenses in ways that too often lead to death, serious injury and lasting community trauma? All of us (should) value liberty and, of course, life over these minor harms. 

Daunte Wright’s expired registration and dangling air fresheners are not worth the time, cost and risk of a traffic stop. Neither are allegedly missing license plates (Caron Nazario) or failing to signal a lane change (Sandra Bland). The same can be said for street stops for jaywalking during a winter storm (Rodney Reese) or selling untaxed cigarettes (Eric Garner) that ripen into arrests. 

So what explains the routine over-enforcement of these nickel-and-dime offenses? One part of the answer can be found in two Supreme Court cases that will celebrate milestone anniversaries in the coming weeks. Together, Whren v. United States and Atwater v. City of Lago Vista permit police to use stops and custodial arrests for low-level offenses to get information about more serious crimes. Officers are likely empowered by Whren to act on their racial biases and incentivized by Atwater to make unnecessary arrests. Those decisions demand reconsideration if the court is going to play its constitutionally required role to protect fundamental liberty rights. Otherwise, the court will continue to seem irrelevant to urgent national conversations about how to protect Black and brown communities from the police. 

For officers, pretext stops can be a means to another end: Officers who have enough suspicion for a minor crime can stop a person in the hope that they might unearth weapons, drugs or other evidence of more significant crime. This is highly problematic because officers frequently lack the suspicion that would be necessary under the Constitution to gather this information …

Read the full article.

Emergency Powers and Policing: Professor William C. Banks Talks to Rewire

Posted on Thursday 4/22/2021
William C. Banks

How Emergency Powers Pave the Way for Police Brutality at Protests

(Rewire | April 21, 2021) When curfew hit at 8 p.m. on April 13 in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, it felt like someone had flipped a switch.

Reporters on the ground say the protest outside the police department had been peaceful, full of speeches and songs. 

But the environment quickly changed as law enforcement began to use more aggressive tactics, firing less-lethal rounds, tear gas and flash grenades at protesters in an attempt to disperse the protest ...

... In 1878, The Posse Comitatus Act was passed to prevent the federal military from engaging in law enforcement activity. There was a desire for the military and law enforcement to be separate entities.

"They're supposed to keep the peace, prevent disturbances, quell disorder, but not enforce the law. That's for the cops," said William Banks, professor emeritus at the Syracuse University College of Law.

But states aren't burdened by that restriction.

"If the governor wishes, depending on how the state law is written, National Guard forces could enforce the curfew or engage in a search or make an arrest of an individual who's violating the law," Banks said.

In the past 20 years, the lines have further blurred. That's because military-grade force doesn't just come from the military. 

Since 1997, federal programs have transferred surplus military equipment to local police departments. Police departments often respond to protests in full tactical military gear, with gas masks, shields and armored vehicles. 

For instance, as NPR reported, St. Paul suburb Cottage Grove's police department alone acquired $1 million in military gear during the Trump administration. The department received 39 bayonets in December 2019.

"That kind of a force, particularly if it's made distant from the people by virtue of the equipment that they use and the paraphernalia that they wear, and the rules of engagement that follow, they're no longer being responsive to the people," Banks said ...

Read the full article.

Santos Vargas elected as Chair of the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors

Posted on Wednesday 4/21/2021
Santos Vargas

Santos Vargas was selected chair-elect of the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors during the board’s quarterly meeting held April 16. Vargas, a shareholder at Davis & Santos in San Antonio, will take office in June and will  serve as chair until June 2022.

Jeffrey Fasoldt has been admitted to practice in New York State

Posted on Wednesday 4/21/2021
Jeffrey C. Fasoldt

Bousquet Holstein PLLC is pleased to announce that Jeffrey C. Fasoldt, Jr. has been admitted to practice law in New York State and is now an Associate Attorney in the firm’s Real Estate Practice Group. Prior to joining the firm, Jeff participated in the firm’s Summer Associate Program, following his second year of law school, where he assisted with a variety of complex real estate and land use matters.

Jeff graduated magna cum laude from Syracuse University College of Law in 2020. During his time in law school, Jeff served as a Research Assistant to Professor Robin Paul Malloy, focusing on the interactions of land use, real estate, and disability law. In addition, Jeff worked as an Associate Notes Editor on the Syracuse Law Review. Jeff was also a member of the Justinian Honor Society during both his second and third year. During law school, Jeff worked as a judicial intern for the Honorable David N. Hurd in U.S. District Court. Jeff is also a cum laude graduate of St. Bonaventure University . He grew up in Avon, NY and now resides in Downtown Syracuse. 

ABA Student Podcast: 1L Meghan Steenburgh Discusses National Security Concerns with Professor William C. Banks

Posted on Wednesday 4/21/2021
ABA Student Podcast

Critical Issues in National Security Law

(ABA Law Student Podcast | April 20, 2021) In the daily onslaught of news from all corners of the globe, it is sometimes difficult to decipher the implications of current events within our own country. 

From the pandemic, to cybersecurity, to international relationships, linking current events and national security interests to law helps us understand our country’s responses to the things we see in the media. ABA Law Student Podcast host 1L Meg Steenburgh talks with Professor William Banks of Syracuse University about the most critical national security issues facing our nation both at home and abroad, including China tensions, nuclear weapons concerns worldwide, the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, and more.

William C. Banks is a Syracuse University College of Law Board of Advisors Distinguished Professor and Emeritus Professor at the College of Law and the Maxwell School as Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs.

Listen to the podcast.

Flood named Parter at DeWitt LLP

Posted on Wednesday 4/21/2021

Brian T. Flood – Class of 2000, has been named Partner at the law firm of DeWitt LLP of Green Bay, Wisconsin. For many of his clients, Brian takes on the role of corporate counsel, advising them on all aspects business law.  His practice focuses on business transactions, banking, litigation, real estate, and employment law. 

A Message from Dean Boise Regarding the Murder Conviction of Derek Chauvin

Posted on Wednesday 4/21/2021
College of Law

Dear College of Law Community,

Yesterday, a guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin case was rendered. Today, my thoughts are with the family of George Floyd, hoping that they may find peace in yesterday’s pronouncement. While justice may have been served, we know that they continue to grieve—and to suffer and to fear as do so many of our Black citizens, neighbors, families, and friends. 

The verdict is but one step along the path toward greater law enforcement accountability for interactions with Black people and people of color in this country. A critical component of progress will be the continued reform of policing practices at all levels, including here in Syracuse and Central New York. We will continue to move that work forward through the ABA Legal Education Police Practices Consortium and other initiatives.

As a College of Law Community that dedicates itself to the rule of law, our mandate as citizens and as professionals is as clear as ever: to examine, to question, and to press forward for justice as a universal good.  

Together and individually, our commitment must be reflected in our actions, as only action will address the deeply ingrained racial injustices that surround us. We also must hold ourselves accountable for creating and fostering—right here—a Community where all of us feel safe and supported in that pursuit.  

In solidarity,

Craig M. Boise
Dean and Professor of Law
College of Law

Bloomberg Discusses Vaccine Passports and ADA Liability with Professor Peter Blanck

Posted on Wednesday 4/21/2021
Peter Blanck

Big Tech Unleashes Vaccine Passports as Privacy Questions Loom

(Bloomberg Law | April 19, 2021) Fans of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets are flashing more than game tickets these days when entering Barclays Center.

They’re also required to show a recent negative Covid-19 test, a vaccination card, or their Excelsior Pass—New York’s first-in-the-nation “vaccine passport,” which uses QR codes on a smartphone to prove test results or vaccination against the disease.

The IBM-created Excelsior Pass, which debuted last month, is among a growing number of apps that could help Americans safely return to sporting events, theaters, restaurants, and flights.

But they’re also raising privacy concerns ...

... But the ADA does require employers to keep their workers’ vaccination information confidential. That could stymie the ability to share passport data with third parties, like service providers who may want to assure clients that the workers going to their homes or businesses have gotten their shots.

And getting workers’ consent to disclose their vaccine passports wouldn’t eliminate the threat of ADA liability, as courts could view that as coercive or discriminatory, said Peter Blanck, a Syracuse University law professor who’s written books on disability bias ...

Read the full article.

Professor Doron Dorfman Cited in Slate Video Game Accessibility Article

Posted on Tuesday 4/20/2021
Doron Dorfman

Fake Reddit Post Starts Serious Debate About Video Game Accessibility

(Slate | April 20, 2021) The subreddit r/legaladvice is supposed to be Reddit’s space to ask simple legal questions. That’s why so many of the threads revolve around subjects like taxes, housing, employment, or family law—common issues where the legal framework has gradually developed over a long period of time. But every once in a while, somebody posts a legal question that energizes the Reddit community with its seeming pathos and originality.

That was the case recently when a user going by the name poelegalthrowaway00 posted a question describing unique challenges that they faced with the video game Path of Exile, a hugely popular action role-playing game set in the dark fantasy world of Wraeclast. The user wrote:

I can’t use one hand and some fingers on the other after an industrial accident. I do things on the computer using mouse and 3 foot pedals. I play this game called Path of Exile, and in the game you need to refresh 4 potion buffs every 3-8 seconds. I physically can’t press 4 keys every few seconds so I use a macro that automatically does it for me ...

... One of the ironies of the poster’s false claims is that it overlaps with an actual theme of disability law discourse. Doron Dorfman of Syracuse University College of Law argues that “Fear of the Disability Con” has inspired a moral panic. According to Dorfman, there is a negative stereotype about people who are faking disabilities and abusing the law—for example, disingenuously claiming disabled parking spots, applying for public benefits, or requesting special academic accommodations—and this stigma serves to erode the overall public legitimacy of those rights ...

Read the full article.

Syracuse University College of Law Faculty Place Scholarship in Top Law Journals

Posted on Tuesday 4/20/2021
College of Law

Re-affirming Syracuse University College of Law’s position as a leader in cutting-edge legal research, several top 50 law journals have accepted or published Syracuse Law faculty articles during 2020-2021. Addressing a spectrum of topics—including criminal justice reform, disability, health care, long-term care, constitutional law, climate change, and zoning—among Syracuse Law’s recent, notable placements are:

Doron Dorfman, “The PrEP Penalty,” Boston College Law Review (forthcoming 2022)

Using the example of PrEP—a highly effective, FDA-approved HIV-prevention treatment—Professor Dorfman demonstrates how moral judgments around sexuality, which are unsupported by clear data, color public health decisions at both the policy and patient levels.

Doron Dorfman, “Suspicious Species,” University of Illinois Law Review (2021)

Taking an empirical law and psychology approach, Professor Dorfman assesses the “moral panic” and “assistance-animal disability con” surrounding the perceived misrepresentation of pets as assistance animals and how people with disabilities who use service dogs are compelled to signal compliance to avoid harassment, questioning, or exclusion.

David Driesen, The Political Remedies Doctrine,” Emory Law Journal (forthcoming 2021)

The “political remedies doctrine” maintains that courts ought not adjudicate separation of powers claims until both political branches of government have asserted their rights. Arguing that courts should not apply this doctrine—except perhaps to avoid adjudication of challenges to bipartisan legislation signed by the President—Professor Driesen provides new insights about the proper role of bargaining in resolving separation of powers, general theory about the relationship between law and politics, and understandings about how courts should approach justiciability.

David Driesen, “The Unitary Executive Theory in Comparative Context,” Hastings Law Journal (2020)

Professor Driesen analyzes the debate in the United States over the unitary executive theory in light of other countries’ experiences, primarily through case studies of recent democratic decline in Hungary, Poland, and Turkey. Driesen urges rejection of the unitary executive theory, which he maintains is a potential pathway to autocracy. An appreciation of the dangers that unitary theory poses to democracy should reframe the debate.

Nina Kohn, “Nursing Homes, COVID-19 and the Consequences of Regulatory Failures,” Georgetown Law Journal Online (2021)

Professor Kohn explores the COVID-19 crisis in America’s nursing homes and its lessons for the future of long-term care. Her essay discusses how regulatory approaches employed in other parts of the US healthcare system could be used to create a more humane and resilient long-term care system.

Nina Kohn, “Legislating Supported Decision-Making,” Harvard Journal on Legislation (forthcoming 2021)

Fueled by the promise of supported decision-making and mounting concerns about guardianship, states are rapidly adopting statutes that purport to enable and promote supported decision-making and advance the rights of persons with disabilities. Professor Kohn observes that these statutes typically do neither. She further explains that the gap between the concept of supported decision-making and state legislation is the result of a confluence of political agendas. Kohn argues a person-centered approach is essential to empower individuals with disabilities.

Lauryn P. Gouldin, “Reforming Pretrial Decision-Making,” Wake Forest Law Review (2020)

Professor Gouldin argues that pretrial reform efforts aimed at shrinking the country’s swollen jail populations do too little to change fundamental aspects of judicial decision-making that have been a persistent source of pretrial dysfunction. She analyzes the decision-making processes that have historically led judges to rely too heavily on pretrial detention and overly restrictive release and outlines the costs of these flawed decisions. Gouldin calls for greater emphasis on judges’ obligations to mitigate harm and promote successful pretrial release.

Mark Nevitt, “Is Climate Change a National Emergency?UC Davis Law Review (forthcoming 2021)

Professor Nevitt asks whether climate change—and its multifaceted impacts—is an emergency that warrants using supplemental legal authorities. If so, what federal emergency authorities are available, and what are the normative stakes to democratic governance if a president declares a climate emergency?

Mark Nevitt, “The Remaking of the Supreme Court: Implications for Climate Change Litigation and Regulation,” Cardozo Law Review (2020)

With the accession of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, a conservative judicial majority appears cemented for decades to come. Professor Nevitt addresses how this transformed Supreme Court might impact future environmental and climate change cases, what influence it will have on policymaking, and how it will affect the ability of plaintiffs to address challenges.

Danielle Stokes, “Zoning for Climate Change,” Minnesota Law Review (2021)

Professor Stokes draws upon a substantial body of scholarly work that advocates for federal or regional collaboration in renewable energy policymaking and for more balanced and dynamic federalism in the energy sector. She argues that the current fragmented and localized system of energy governance—including zoning and land use planning—can delay and even deter renewable energy project development.

Hon. James E. Baker: Ethics and Artificial Intelligence—A Policymaker's Introduction

Posted on Tuesday 4/20/2021
Hon. James E. Baker

Policymakers contemplating the burgeoning field of artificial intelligence will find, if they have not already, that existing laws leave huge gaps in deciding how (and whether) AI will be developed and used in ethical ways. The law, of course, plays a vital role. While it does not guarantee wise choices, it can improve the odds of having a process that will lead to such choices. Law can reach across constituencies and compel, where policy encourages and ethics guide. The legislative process can also serve as an effective mechanism to adjudicate competing values as well as validate risks and opportunities. 

But the law is not enough when it contains gaps due to lack of a federal nexus, interest, or the political will to legislate. And law may be too much if it imposes regulatory rigidity and burdens when flexibility and innovation are required. Sound ethical codes and principles can help fill legal gaps. To do so, policymakers have three main tools: 

  • Ethical Guidelines, Principles, and Professional Codes
  • Academic Internal Review Boards (IRBs)
  • Principles of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Below is a primer on the limits and promise of these three mechanisms to help shape a regulatory regime that maximizes the benefits of AI and minimizes its potential harms. 

This paper addresses six specific considerations for policymakers:

  1. Where AI is concerned, ethics codes should include indicative actions illustrating compliance with the code’s requirements. Otherwise, individual actors will independently define terms like “public safety,” “appropriate human control,” and “reasonable” subject to their own competing values. This will result in inconsistent and lowest-common-denominator ethics. If the principle is “equality,” for example, an indicative action might require training data for a facial recognition application to include a meaningful cross-section of gender and race-based data.
  2. Most research and development in AI is academic and corporate. Therefore, Institutional Review Boards and Corporate Social Responsibility practices are critical in filling the gaps between law and professional ethics, and in identifying regulatory gaps. Indeed, corporations might consider the use of IRBs as well. 
  3. Policymakers should consider the Universal Guidelines for Artificial Intelligence (detailed below) as a legislative checklist. Even if they don’t adopt the guidelines, the list will help them make purposeful choices about what to include or omit in an AI regulatory regime consisting of law, ethics, and CSR. 
  4. Academic leaders and government officials should actively consider whether to subject AI research and development to IRB review. They should further consider whether to apply a burden of proof, persuasion, or a precautionary principle to high-risk AI activities, such as those that link AI to kinetic or cyber weapons or warning systems, pose counterintelligence (CI) risks, or remove humans from an active control loop.
  5. Corporations should create a governance process for deciding whether and how to adopt CSR national security policies answering the question:  What does it mean to be an American corporation? They should consider adopting a stakeholder model of CSR that is, in essence, a public-private partnership that includes input from consumers and employees as well as shareholders and the C-Suite.
  6. Policymakers, lawyers, and corporate leaders should communicate regularly about the four issues that may define the tone, tenor, and content of government-industry relations: uniformity in response, business with and in China and Russia, encryption, and privacy.
  7. Where government agencies, corporations, and academic entities have adopted AI Principles, as many institutions now have, it is time to move from statements of generic principle to the more difficult task of applying those principles to specific applications. 

Dean Craig Boise’s 4 Cs for Leadership: Consult, Build Consensus, Communicate, Course-Correct

Posted on Tuesday 4/20/2021
Dean Craig M. Boise

(Syracuse Post-Standard | April 20, 2021) Law Day is held May 1 every year to celebrate the role of law in American society and to deepen understanding of the legal profession.

Asked about Law Day this year, Craig M. Boise, dean of Syracuse University’s College of Law, sees special significance:

“I think the events of just this year have illustrated how important the rule of law is. We saw an attack on the U.S. Capitol by people who would have overturned the results of a valid election. That was a wake-up call for people to realize we tend to take for granted the system that we have, where we believe that the law is supreme. It’s more important than an individual, than an individual leader, that we have a system of law. Law Day celebrates that and hopefully draws attention to it outside of the community of lawyers.

“The rule of law is a fragile thing, and it can be lost. Even up until recent years, the U.S. has been an exporter of the concept of rule of law. The ABA (American Bar Association) has a project that works to implement the rule of law in other countries and develop sound legal rules.

“It’s important that all of us inform ourselves about issues and that we participate, particularly in our local governments. That’s the kind of involvement with the law and development of policy that can draw people together because it’s local. I think that people should be involved and understand that it’s on us to preserve the democracy that we have" ...

Read the full article.

Advocacy Honor Society Announces Award, Scholarship Winners at 2021 Virtual Banquet

Posted on Friday 4/16/2021
College of Law

The Travis H.D. Lewin Advocacy Honors Society (AHS) held its virtual banquet on April 15, 2021, presided over by Faculty Director Professor Todd Berger and AHS Executive Director 3L Joseph Tantillo.

Opening the banquet, Dean Craig M. Boise praised the advocates for posting "another banner year for the Advocacy Program."

"Given the challenges, the Program could have been forgiven if it had 'stepped back' this year and 'waited for the dust to settle,'" Boise said. "But you did quite the opposite—embracing virtual tournaments, adding and planning new hosted competitions, and boosting our national reputation to such an extent, we are now ranked #11 in the nation for Trial Advocacy by U.S. News and World Report."

In addition to jumping 16 places in two years in the U.S. News national rankings, the Advocacy Program is also #7 in the nation according to the 2020 Fordham rankings for trial competition, released in October 2020. 

Dean Boise noted some other highlights for 2020-2021, a year in which competitions were held online due to the coronavirus pandemic:

  • In February, Syracuse Law swept the National Trial Competition Region 2 tournament for the second year in a row, again sending two teams to the NTC national finals and lifting the Tiffany Cup for the third year in a row. 
  • Two other teams also won their regional rounds for the second year: the Black Law Students Association Trial Team and the National Moot Court Competition Team. The BLSA team then made it to the elite eight of their national tourney, the Constance Baker Motley Mock Trial Competition.
  • In October, the second Syracuse National Trial Competition became one of the first live-streamed tourneys in the nation, convening 22 top teams, managing nearly 50 trials, and gathering an 150 volunteer evaluators.
  • AHS then launched a new competition in March, the Transatlantic Negotiation Competition, in collaboration with Queen's University in Belfast, bringing together 60 students and judges (including alumni) from 23 countries. 
  • The program is now in the planning stages for a third Syracuse Law intercollegiate tournament, which will be a national moot court competition with a focus on disability law. 

Thanking alumni for their assistance through the year, coaching teams and judging competitions, Dean Boise announced the creation of the Travis H.D. Lewin Advocacy Honor Society Alumni Association, which will keep Program alumni in close touch and encourage further engagement after graduation.

Dean Boise finished his remarks by wishing 2021-2022 AHS Executive Director 2L Olivia Stevens best of luck and by welcoming the evening's special guests: Professor Emeritus Travis H.D. Lewin; Lee Michaels L'67; Emil Rossi L'72 (along with his daughters Rachel and Gemma L'01); and Everett Gillison L'85, Chief Administrative Officer, Defender Association of Philadelphia, and a 2020 Law Honors Awards recipient. 

The following awards and scholarship were bestowed at the banquet: 

  • Executive Director's Award: 3L Tyler Jefferies
  • Faculty Advocacy Director's Award: 3L Sharon Otasowie
  • Ralph E. Kharas Award: 3L Joseph F. Tantillo
  • Lee S. Michaels L'67 Advocate of the Year Award: 2L Marina De Rosa
  • Emil Rossi L'72 Scholarship Award: 2L Amanda Nardozza
  • Richard Risman Appellate Advocacy Award: 3L Joseph F. Tantillo
  • Models of Excellence in Advocacy Award (In Honor of Everett Gillison L'85): 2L Olivia Stevens and 2L Kelsey Gonzalez
  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers: 3L Joseph Celotto and 3L Christy O'Neil

The following 3L students were admitted to the Order of Barristers: Carly Cazer, Joseph Celotto, Lisa Cole, Ken Knight, Allison Kowalczyk, Christy O'Neil, Sharon Otasowie, and Joseph F. Tantillo

Professor Nina Kohn Explores Nursing Homes, COVID-19, and Regulatory Failure in Georgetown Law Journal Online

Posted on Friday 4/16/2021
Nina Kohn
"Nursing Homes, COVID-19, and the Consequences of Regulatory Failure." Georgetown Law Journal Online, 110 (Spring 2021)

Professor Nina Kohn's essay explores the COVID-19 crisis in America’s nursing homes and its lessons for the future of long-term care. It challenges narratives portraying nursing homes as the unfortunate victims of COVID-19 by showing how the crisis is the foreseeable result of regulatory gaps and failures that have long enabled nursing homes to engage in systemic neglect. 

Kohn then shows how regulatory approaches employed in other parts of the US healthcare system could be used to create a more humane and resilient long-term care system. It concludes by considering the implications of such reforms for enhancing equity and reducing structural ageism. 

Syracuse Law Review and SUNY Upstate AMA/MSSNY Announce Writing Competition Winners

Posted on Wednesday 4/14/2021
Syracuse Law Review

Syracuse Law Review and the SUNY Upstate Medical University American Medical Association/Medical Society of the State of New York (AMA/MSSNY) Board have announce the winners of their COVID-19 Writing Competition. The special contest—announced in December 2020—encouraged graduate students of Syracuse University and SUNY Upstate to write or co-author original articles on the theme of “COVID-19: Lessons Learned and Where Do We Go from Here?”

  • Olivia Chen (SUNY Upstate) and Natasha Pandit (SUNY Upstate) won first place for "A Proposed Policy Solution to Provide Remote Prenatal Care after the COVID-19 Pandemic."
  • Roland Lindmayer (College of Law) took second place with "The Liquidity Pandemic: A Recent History of the Federal Reserve and Economic Implications of Historically Aggressive Actions during the COVID-19 Pandemic."
  • Rebecca Harris (SUNY Upstate) third place article is titled "Extroversion as a Potential Risk Factor for Increased Spread of COVID-19 in the United States During a Global Pandemic."

In addition to publishing the winning articles, SLR has selected six additional submissions for its journal: 

"The Rise in Family Violence During the COVID-19 Era" (Ann Ciancia, College of Law); "A Bioethical Argument to Provide Direct Payments to Undocumented Immigrants in a COVID-19 Economic Stimulus" (Michael Conroy, SUNY Upstate); "A Bitter Pill to Swallow: The Inevitability of the Global Pandemic" (Anthony Corsi, SUNY Upstate); "Is China to Blame for COVID-19?" (Melanie Ngo, SUNY Upstate); "COVID-19 Within the Mass Incarceration System" (Almasa Talovic, SUNY Upstate); and "Only the Rich Can Afford a Free Vaccine" (Connor Wiest, SUNY Upstate).

"A big thank you goes to the Syracuse Law Review staff and the SUNY Upstate AMA/MSSNY Board for making this competition a success. Congratulations to the winners!" says SLR Editor-in-Chief 3L Nikkia Knudsen. "Thank you also to our faculty judges and advisors, who provided their time and unwavering support—from the College of Law: Professor Emeritus Peter Bell, Professor Emily Brown, Professor Robin Paul Malloy, Professor Aliza Milner, and Professor Danielle Stokes and from SUNY Upstate: Dr. Daryll Dykes, Dr. Rebecca Garden, Dr. Travis Hobart, and Professor Edward McArdle."

Professor Mark Nevitt: Should the COVID-19 Vaccine Be Required for the Military?

Posted on Monday 4/12/2021
Mark P. Nevitt

(Just Security | April 12, 2021) By some estimates, approximately one-third of U.S. military service members have opted out of the COVID-19 vaccine. Some think that number could be higher, for example, according to a new report, nearly 40 percent of U.S. Marines are declining vaccinations. An earlier December report from the nonprofit advocacy group Blue Star Families estimated that nearly half of military members would decline the vaccine if offered. In response, six members of Congress recently sent a letter to President Joe Biden, asking him to make the vaccine mandatory for all military service members.

In what follows, I address three questions that have arisen from the U.S. military’s ongoing efforts to vaccinate members of the armed forces:
Can military members be legally required to receive the COVID-19 vaccination?

  • Can military members be legally required to receive the COVID-19 vaccination?
  • What lessons from earlier military vaccination efforts (e.g. anthrax) can be applied to COVID-19?
  • What is the impact on vaccination refusal on military readiness?

Ultimately, yes—but this answer requires a bit of nuance and process. As of this writing, the president and defense secretary have not ordered mandatory vaccination for the military (or the general public for that matter). COVID-19 vaccination remains strictly voluntary for all military service members, consistent with earlier pledges by Biden that he would not make vaccinations mandatory. But that could change, particularly for deployed service members who work in tight quarters where infection rates can spike quickly. For now though, DoD appears committed to the voluntary vaccination approach.

As a statutory matter, in 2003, Congress passed a law (10 U.S.C. § 1107a) that requires informed consent prior to military members receiving vaccinations issued under an emergency use authorization (EUA). All three COVID-19 vaccinations being used in the United States —ModernaJohnson & Johnson and Pfizer—are being administered under an EUA. And all three have not been fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration. By some estimates, full approval may take up to two years.

But, according to the law, the president can waive this informed consent requirement if he determines that it is “in the interest of national security” to do so. While Biden has not done this, some members of Congress have called upon him to do just that.

If this informed consent provision is ultimately waived, military commanders can clearly order military members in their command to receive the vaccine. This is consistent with the “Failure to obey an order or regulation” under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Even if the informed provision is not waived by Biden, a mandatory military vaccination order may survive challenges in military criminal courts implementing the UCMJ. Federal civil courts would likely scrutinize such a move much more closely. This is based upon prior decisions and the military’s experience in implementing the anthrax vaccination program, which I turn to below.

Relatedly, outside the military context, over 100 years ago, the Supreme Court upheld a local Board of Health’s authority to require smallpox vaccinations during a smallpox epidemic. As Professor Lawrence Gostin at Georgetown Law has previously arguedJacobson reaffirms the “basic police power of the government to safeguard the public’s health.” This decisionJacobson v. Massachusetts, has been relied upon during this pandemic to implement mandatory mask wearing and social distancing.

What lessons from earlier military vaccination efforts (e.g. anthrax) can be applied here?

Quite a few. The anthrax vaccine was administered as an “investigational new drug” (IND) in the late 1990s. Congress passed a law in 1998 (10 U.S.C. § 1107), effectively requiring informed consent from military members prior to administration of INDs such as anthrax. This is a different but analogous law to the COVID-19 emergency use authorization. President Bill Clinton signed an executive order in 1999, reaffirming the informed consent requirement and laying out the process for seeking a waiver. But both President Clinton and Bush did not waive the informed consent procedure. The mandatory anthrax vaccination program was administered anyway, although it was started and stopped several times in the early aughts. This was due to issues with the manufacturer’s ability to pass inspections and disagreements about whether the anthrax vaccine was administered consistent with its labeling. Perhaps not surprisingly, orders to take anthrax vaccinations were challenged by military service members in both military and federal courts.

As military commanders ordered anthrax vaccinations, some service members refused, arguing that they had not provided their informed consent to the anthrax inoculation. Federal courts heard civil, administrative, and constitutional challenges, while military judges heard challenges under the UCMJ …

Read the full article.

Syracuse University Law Alumni Association Condemning Asian Hate

Posted on Monday 4/12/2021
College of Law

On behalf of the Syracuse University Law Alumni Association (SULAA), we call on every member of our College of Law family to stand in solidarity with the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in condemning the torrent of anti-Asian racism, hatred, and acts of violence around the country.

Since the start of the pandemic, a wave of xenophobia has reignited a surge of discrimination and violence targeting the AAPI community. In 2020 alone, anti-Asian hate crimes rose nearly 150% in our nation’s largest cities, according to a new report by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.

The recent killings of Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Yong Ae Yue, Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, and Daoyou Feng in Atlanta have added to the trauma of these abhorrent acts of hate. And from San Francisco to New York City, there continues to be a slew of malicious beatings against Asians. The numbers of reported Asian hate crimes are staggering, and the AAPI community is scared and concerned. Sadly, it takes videos and social media posts to cause the public at large to take notice and start this necessary dialogue.

The suffering of the AAPI community has been underreported, ignored, or has altogether gone unnoticed for more than a century. That must end now. SULAA believes silence is not an option. As a legal community, nationally and locally, we must challenge ourselves to do more. As legal practitioners we have an ethical duty not to “look the other way,” but to proactively and vigorously pursue equality and justice.

Join us in calling for more protections for every member of our society, especially our fellow citizens and neighbors who have been historically overlooked. As President Joseph R. Biden L’68 said following the recent attacks on Asians in Atlanta and New York City, “We can’t be silent in the face of rising violence against Asian Americans.”

To the College of Law’s AAPI community, we acknowledge your concerns. You are not invisible. You matter. We stand with you in solidarity to stop Asian hate.

The SULAA Board of Directors

Further Reading

Please explore these resources to learn more about the current and historical context, and to find ways to offer tangible support in the fight against anti-Asian violence and interlocking systems of oppression:

  • The AAPI COVID-19 Project provides a non-exhaustive, community-gathered list of educational, cultural, mental health, hate-crime reporting, and other resources of need.
  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice seeks to advance civil and human rights for Asian Americans and to build and promote a fair and equitable society for all. 
  • Stop AAPI Hate tracks and responds to incidents of hate against AAPI communities in the US.
  • National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum advocates for political and structural change around reproductive health, immigrant rights, racial justice, and economic justice.
  • Hollaback! offers anti-harassment/bystander intervention trainings.

Professor Nina Kohn Discusses NY Nursing Home Accountability with AP

Posted on Monday 4/12/2021
Nina Kohn

Reforms follow deadly year in New York nursing homes

(AP | April 10, 2021) After a deadly year in New York’s nursing homes, state lawmakers have passed legislation intended to hold facility operators more accountable for neglect and potentially force them to spend more on patient care.

Rules passed in recent days as part of a state budget deal would require for-profit homes to spend at least 70% of their revenue on direct patient care, including 40% on staffers who work directly with residents.

Under the deal, set to be signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, home operators will also face limits on their profit margins. Any profits in excess of 5% would have to be sent to the state ...

New York’s law was among the nation’s most protective, and state Attorney General Letitia James called for lawmakers to repeal it in January.

“What immunity provision did is give a green light to facilities to engage in practices and staffing patterns known to create unreasonable risk to residents,” Syracuse University School of Law professor Nina Kohn said ...

Read the full story.

1Ls Payton Sorci and Nicco Vocaturo Prevail in the 2nd Annual Entertainment and Sports Law Negotiation Competition

Posted on Friday 4/9/2021
1Ls Payton Sorci and Nicco Vocaturo

The team of 1Ls Payton Sorci (pictured, top) and Nicco Vocaturo (pictured, bottom) prevailed over the team of 3Ls Travis Swanson and Jordan Ferbrache in the final round of the Entertainment and Sports Law Negotiation Competition, held on April 8, 2021. The second annual competition was held in conjunction with the seventh annual Entertainment and Sports Law Symposium, the first time both events were held completely online.

Competition judges were Professor Elizabeth August L’94; Kevin Belbey L’16, Vice President of Sports Broadcasting, The Montag Group; and Beverly Sarfo, General Counsel, TVO.

The dispute negotiated by the students addressed an endorsement deal with Nike signed by athlete Aroldis Chapman. However, because of the effects of the pandemic, the relationship between the parties has become strained. Nike believed that Chapman has not endorsed their brand adequately throughout the pandemic; Aroldis believed negative tweets from a Nike spokesperson have defamed his character. Before filing suit, the parties agreed to have their respective counsels meet to resolve the issue privately.

Fill in the Blanks: ILC Research Reports Give Innovators an Edge

Posted on Friday 4/9/2021
Innovation Law Center

By 3L Meredith Wallen

As of April 2021, faculty and students in the Innovation Law Center (ILC) are finalizing client presentations for the spring semester. Given current coronavirus pandemic restrictions, clients once again will meet virtually with research teams for presentations that will summarize the intellectual property, regulatory, and market landscape findings relevant to the respective technologies.

Spring 2021 ILC clients are developing innovations in green building systems, medical technology, biometrics, streaming media, and infrastructure logistics:

MicroEra Power

This Rochester, NY, team is exploring commercialization options for its inventive solutions for retrofitting existing HVAC systems in commercial buildings to make them more cost effective and energy efficient. ILC research seeks to identify other HVAC improvements in patent and public literature to help assess the improvements that are most likely to obtain patent protection.

In addition, the research facilitates awareness of existing new technology in the market insuring MicroEra does not inadvertently subject itself to liability for infringing on other patents. By understanding what investors and potential licensees might identify in similar searches, ILC clients such as MicroEra increase the likelihood of choosing the best commercialization pathway for new technology.

Organic Robotics

Developed in Ithaca, NY, from Cornell University technology, this platform technology invention utilizes networks of sensors to read body movements. ILC research is helping to explore one of the technology’s applications that will be of interest to big league sports teams. Organic Robotics has developed variations of its technology for a number of applications, and ILC research also will help differentiate where the best opportunities are in light of existing technology developments in their innovation space.

NSION Technologies

NSC3 is a media broadcasting and management solution to provide situational awareness during events and disasters. The NSC3 platform provides integrated media streaming from multiple sources to multiple devices in real-time while optimizing video speeds and allowing live data transfer using secure connections and data encryption.

This technology originated in Finland, and it is being introduced to the US market through a startup located in New York State. ILC research will provide NSION with an analysis of the potential for patentability and infringement based on other developments in the space. Market research is also being conducted to assess industries beyond public safety that the NSC3 technology could be marketed in.


Skip-Line provides real time information on fleet location, material usage, and application performance for contractors completing road work. This technology is meant to create and utilize navigation trajectories, also known as drive vectors. ILC research provides an analysis of competing intellectual property and its potential effect on patent protection and infringement on other technologies, as well as market information on automotive-related industries and regulatory and liability information. Additionally, regulatory analysis is identifying relevant state and federal level regulations and liability issues.


Commercializing University of Buffalo technology, Optimed is working to promote the clinical transaction of fundamental lab research into human clinical treatments to reduce pain and suffering, enhance quality of life, and improve oral health. Specifically, ILC faculty and students have been working on identifying prior art relevant to the assessment of patentability of 3D-printing dentures, as well as performing regulatory and market research.

Triton Bio

Triton Bio creates devices that isolate microbes from biological samples, and it is looking into entering the point of care diagnostics market. ILC research includes the identification of  patents within the clinical diagnostics setting that are considered point-of-care devices and that currently isolate bacteria for diagnostics. In addition, a market analysis on all relevant diagnostics competitors within the current market is being performed.

The research and analysis outlined for the spring 2021 clients is typical of the sort of assistance provided by ILC during the summer and fall sessions. Summer research requests currently are lining up, so now is the time to get in touch if you are interested in increasing your chances of success with an ILC research report.

Professor Shubha Ghosh Analyzes SCOTUS' Java/Google API Decision

Posted on Thursday 4/8/2021
Shubha Ghosh

Supreme Court ruling on Java APIs eases developer worries

(TheServerSide.com | April 6, 2021) Developers can feel some relief now that the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Google in its landmark copyright case versus Oracle.

Oracle sued Google more than a decade ago, claiming that the search engine giant infringed Oracle's copyrights by using more than 11,500 lines of Java code from Java APIs created by Sun Microsystems, which Oracle acquired in 2010. That code was used to create the Android mobile operating system.

The Supreme Court of the United States' (SCOTUS) decision overturns two lower court rulings in favor of Oracle, and ruled that Google's use of the APIs falls under the fair use doctrine of copyright law ...

... some question the finality and clarity of the decision. Shubha Ghosh, a law professor at Syracuse University, said that while the ruling for Google was not surprising, predicting the court's reasoning was more difficult as the ruling was not as broad as some wanted.

"The ruling is narrow," Ghosh told TheServerSide. "Some were hoping the Court would create a categorical rule that APIs are not copyrightable. Instead, the Court ruled narrowly that Google's use of the declaration code was not infringement. This would mean that software developers can follow what Google did with impunity. That is narrow. But the Court's reasoning implies that not all copyrighted software will be treated the same. This is Justice [Clarence] Thomas' and [Samuel] Alito's concern: It creates a huge hole in software copyright law."

Moreover, the ruling suggests that fair use has an important role in guiding the use of copyrighted software. What that role is may be the subject of future litigation ...

Read the full article.

Daniel L. Blanchard joins Jackson Lewis P.C.

Posted on Wednesday 4/7/2021
Daniel L. Blanchard

Daniel L. Blanchard (M.P.A., 2011 and J.D., 2011) has joined national labor and employment law firm Jackson Lewis P.C. as an associate in the firm’s Philadelphia office. Daniel focuses his practice on representing employers in workplace law matters, including pre-litigation claims and litigation, as well as preventive advice, counseling, and investigations. 

Professor Roy Gutterman L'00 Addresses Sedition Laws with The Guardian

Posted on Wednesday 4/7/2021
Roy Gutterman

Why aren't we calling the Capitol attack an act of treason?

(The Guardian | April 5, 2021) During Donald Trump’s presidency, the UC Davis law professor Carlton Larson spent a lot of time on the phone telling journalists: “It’s not treason.”

Trump’s behavior towards Russia: not treason. All the FBI investigations Trump labeled as treason: also not treason. Then came the 6 January attack on the Capitol by hundreds of Trump supporters. That was treason according to the founding fathers, Larson wrote in an op-ed the next day.

But in the three months since 6 January, however, there has been little public discussion of “treason” as the framework for understanding what happened, Larson said. “Everything was ‘Treason, treason, treason,’ when it wasn’t, and now you have an event that is closer to the original 18th-century definition of treason than anything that’s happened, and it’s almost silent. Nobody is using the term at all,” he said ...

... Sedition laws in the early 20th century, including the Sedition Act of 1918, was “not only focused on World War I”, but “really focused on shutting down socialists and communists, who the government thought were going to be a threat to democracy”, said Roy Gutterman, the director of the Tully Center for Free Speech at Syracuse University.

The supreme court at the time upheld convictions of “small groups of dissidents” who were “distributing fliers speaking out against the US government”, Gutterman said. That included socialists passing out flyers advocating that Americans peacefully resist the draft, which the supreme court at the time ruled was not protected as free speech ...

Read the full story.

Kory A. Crichton joins Fox Rothschild LLP

Posted on Monday 4/5/2021

Kory A. Crichton has joined Fox Rothschild LLP in Morristown, NJ as an associate in the Family Law Practice. Kory represents clients in a full range of family law matters, and has significant experience in matrimonial law, including divorce and domestic violence proceedings. Prior to joining Fox, Kory was an associate at a Morristown-based family law firm. He previously was a law clerk for the Honorable Ralph E. Amirata of Morris County (NJ) Superior Court, Family Division and the Honorable Mary F. Walrath of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

WAER Interviews Professor Mary Szto About Experiences with Anti-Asian Hate

Posted on Monday 4/5/2021
Mary Szto

Syracuse University Professors Share History and Experiences of Anti-Asian Racism

(WAER | April 1, 2021) The March shooting in Atlanta that left six Asian women and two others dead along with other recent acts of violence against Asians across the country have exposed previously overlooked anti-Asian racism in America,  and even here in the city of Syracuse.

Syracuse University Law Professor Mary Szto explains such racism is rooted in history, such as laws excluding Asian immigration and internment camps that held Asians captive during World War Two. 

More recently, the narrative switched to claim that Asian people are models of assimilation.

“We wanted to promote the model assimilative minority myth, which as we know was fulfilling several goals, right,” said Szto. “To unfortunately drive a wedge among minorities and then to basically, again put Asians in a box, by labelling them as a model of assimilation.”

Szto says the model minority myth has suppressed anti-Asian hate and prejudice.  Sociology Professor Yingyi Ma says violence against Asian-Americans is often not defined as a hate crime.  Ma says this racism also targets Asian international students at campuses such as Syracuse University ...

Read the full story.

Kyle J. Somers joins Wisler Pearlstine

Posted on Monday 4/5/2021

​Kyle J. Somers has joined the Education Law Team of Wisler Pearlstine LLP. Somers has dedicated his practice to representing school districts and other public entities for over a decade. He currently serves as solicitor for a number of school districts in Pennsylvania. Matters on which he regularly advises his clients include board governance, policy development, public records, employment and labor issues, special education and student civil rights. A graduate of the University of Delaware (2006), Mr. Somers earned his law degree magna cum laude from Syracuse University in 2009 where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Syracuse Law Review. He is a resident of Limerick Township.

Professor William C. Banks Speaks to El Paso Matters About UTEP Cyberattack

Posted on Friday 4/2/2021
William C. Banks

(El Paso Matters | April 1, 2021) After three weeks of its network systems not fully being restored, the University of Texas at El Paso has yet to provide details about the “unauthorized and potentially malicious intrusion” that caused the networks to fail ...

... William C. Banks, a professor of law emeritus at Syracuse University, says an outage could be expected to take weeks or longer to repair. 

“A lot of the damage requires rebuilding an internal system and that’s not something you can just flip the switch and it’s done,” he said ...

... Although it’s hard to tell, Banks also speculates that the university could have been hit with a ransomware attack. 

The U.S. government’s cybersecurity and infrastructure security agency defines ransomware as “an ever-evolving form of malware designed to encrypt files on a device, rendering any files and the systems that rely on them unusable.” Ransom is typically demanded and perpetrators usually threaten to leak important files and data if the ransom is not paid. 

“If they were hit by ransomware, they may be unable to talk about it or may not want to talk about it,” Banks said ...

Read the full article.

CCJI Helps Launch Wharlest and Exerlena Jackson Legacy Project

Posted on Thursday 4/1/2021
Wharlest and Exerlena Jackson Legacy Project

To honor the sacrifice and memory of two civil rights activists from Natchez, MS, Syracuse University College of Law's Cold Case Justice Initiative (CCJI) helped launch the Wharlest and Exerlena Jackson Legacy Project with a two-day virtual symposium for public junior and senior high school students in both Natchez and Syracuse on March 26-27, 2021.

Wharlest Jackson was an employee at the Armstrong Tire Plant who was active in the Natchez NAACP along with his wife, Exerlena. He was killed in February 1967 by a bomb planted on his pickup truck. Although no one was arrested for the murder, the FBI believed a group associated with the Ku Klux Klan was involved.

On hand to help launch the Legacy Project named for their parents were Wharlest Jackson Jr. and Denise Jackson Ford, who spoke at the event titled “Honor Their Memories; Continue Their Legacy.” In fact, several generations of Jackson family members were present, in addition to other friends and community members who knew the family.

In addition to honoring the Jacksons' sacrifice, the Legacy Project aims to provide resources to enable junior and high school students to achieve their goals and to continue the Jacksons’ dedication to civic engagement.

Friday's program introduced participants to the Jacksons and their civil rights legacy and included a short film tribute by CCJI volunteer Kendall Anderson. Saturday convened Natchez-area educators and civic leaders and included several concurrent panels on topics designed to inform and inspire junior and high school students.

Among the participants, representing Syracuse Law, were CCJI Co-Founder Professor Paula C. Johnson; alumna Pthara Jeppe L'19, Wolinsky Fellowship Attorney, Disability Rights Advocates; 3Ls Alexander Bejaran Estevez and Dianne Jahangani; 2Ls Moriah Combs, Hilda Frimpong, Mazaher Kaila, Kayla Wheeler, and Keyashia Willis, and 1Ls Kendall Anderson, Gabriela Groman, Camisha Parkins, and Iain Phillips.

Jahangani told the Concordia Sentinal newspaper that when she joined CCJI she, "delved in more deeply with the various projects that we have; it was late August 2020 when I was introduced to Mr. Wharlest Jackson Sr.’s cold case.”

A Legacy Project for the Jacksons had already been discussed, Jahangani said, but it stalled when the coronavirus pandemic began. CCJI then decided to move forward with the Legacy Project virtually "and hopefully in the future be able to have this be in person one day,” she said.

Jahangani, who is research assistant for Professor Johnson and CCJI, added that connecting students in Natchez and Syracuse was a "wonderful opportunity to build that networking connection."

To further assist the school students, Syracuse Law students have offered to become "Life Buddies"—or mentors—to help them navigate the next steps in their lives. Junior high and high school students who register in the Life Buddies program will be assigned a law student who can answer questions about the path to college and other career decisions. 

CCJI continues to investigative the Jackson case and continues their legacy for racial justice and equality. 

Wharlest and Exerlena Jackson Legacy Project
Wharlest and Exerlena Jackson Legacy Project

Joe Di Scipio L’95 Gives DCEx Students an Inside Look at Political Advertising Issues

Posted on Tuesday 3/30/2021
Joseph Di Scipio L'95

On March 22, 2021, students from the Spring 2021 Washington, DC, Externship Program (DCEx) heard from Joseph Di Scipio L’95, who offered a seminar discussing FCC compliance issues for broadcasting stations. 

Di Scipio is an accomplished legal expert in FCC regulatory compliance who currently serves as Senior Vice President, FCC Legal & Business Affairs and Assistant General Counsel at Fox Corporation. He is responsible for all FCC regulatory matters relating to Fox Corporation’s television stations, including negotiating retransmission consent and other distribution agreements, spectrum issues, M&A activity, and other special projects. 

Also holding an M.P.A .from Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Di Scipio serves on the National Association of Broadcasters Board of Directors and has previously served as the President of the Syracuse University Law Alumni Association. Di Scipio continues to provide support to Syracuse Law students and alums.

In preparation for the seminar, students viewed various political candidate and issue-related advertisements along with substantiation documents which compared claims made in the advertisements to the facts collected from the public record. 

After presenting these recent case studies, Di Scipio led an in-depth analysis and discussion surrounding FCC compliance with respect to political and issue-related advertisements. Di Scipio discussed with students his decision-making process, which includes a step-by-step analysis and risk-balancing test that takes into account the brand’s reputation, candidate rights to air advertisements, and sustaining ad revenues. 

Professor Corri Zoli Speaks to SCMP About Xinjiang, Global Brands, and Human Rights

Posted on Tuesday 3/30/2021
Corri Zoli

(South China Morning Post | March 30, 2020) Scores of Chinese and foreign companies producing “well-known global brands” may be involved in human trafficking, forced labour and other human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang region, a United Nations working group said on Monday, calling more attention to an issue that Beijing is increasingly on the defensive about.

“Several experts appointed by the Human Rights Council said they had received information that connected over 150 domestic Chinese and foreign domiciled companies to serious allegations of human rights abuses against Uygur workers,” the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said ...

... Corri Zoli, director of research at the Institute for Security Policy and Law at Syracuse University in New York, called accounts of abuse in Xinjiang from groups including Human Rights Watch “increasingly reliable” and said they buttressed the UN working group’s investigations.

“These specific reports, data collection and outreach efforts are unifying international pressure from many angles,” Zoli said. “What we are seeing in this issue is the first-generation of the supply chain wars with complex information campaigns overlaid on these conflicts" ...

Read the full article.

Professor Doron Dorfman Publishes Crisis Standards of Care Study in Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law

Posted on Monday 3/29/2021
Doron Dorfman
Ari Ne’eman, Michael Ashley Stein, Zackary D. Berger, and Doron Dorfman. "The Treatment of Disability Under Crisis Standards of Care: An Empirical and Normative Analysis of Change Over Time During COVID-19." Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law (Forthcoming 2021).

Forthcoming in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, this paper is the first empirical study to show how state Crisis Standards of Care changed their treatment of disability and rationing overtime during the pandemic. 

Explains Professor Doron Dorfman, "We coded Crisis Standard of Care (CSC) rationing plans from 35 states to show how disability rights organizations were able to work with the Health and Human Service Office of Civil Rights to influence health policy. Many CSC have been changed overtime during the pandemic to make sure disability is not a cause for preventing care in situations of scarcity."

The authors conclude that disability rights movement’s successes in influencing state triage policy should inform future CSCs and set the stage for further work on how stakeholders influence bioethics policy debates: "We offer thoughts for examining bioethics policymaking reflecting the processes by which activists seek policy change and the tension policymakers face between expert delegation and mediating values conflicts."

3Ls Alex Eaton and Tyler Jefferies Prevail in the 2021 Grossman Trial Competition

Posted on Monday 3/29/2021
3Ls Alex Eaton and Tyler Jefferies

The team of 3Ls Alex Eaton and Tyler Jefferies, arguing for the defense, won the 43rd Annual Lionel O. Grossman Trial Competition held virtually on March 25, 2021. Jeffries also won Best Advocate. The prosecution team of 2Ls Will Hendon and Nate Kelder were the other finalists for this Travis H.D. Lewin Advocacy Honor Society (AHS) intramural competition, held virtually for the first time in its history.   

The Hon. Glenn T. Suddaby L'85, US District Court Judge for the Northern District of New York, was presiding judge for the final round. The Hon. Rodney Thompson L'93 and the Hon. Bernadette Roman-Clark L'89 joined Judge Suddaby on the bench.

The teams argued the case of District of Orangeville v. Logan Dunn. "This was a double homicide charge where two little girls were killed in a house fire, believed to be started by the defendant, the girls adopted father who never wanted children," explains 3L Joseph Tantillo, AHS Executive Director. "The defense prevailed in proving the innocence of their client, in particular by an excellent cross examination of the prosecution’s expert witness, which demonstrated the flaws in her fire investigation techniques."

Tantillo continues, "Trial is the most difficult type of advocacy to perform over Zoom, and our competitors did a wonderful job. The final was one of the best we’ve seen in years, and the judges echoed that sentiment. Congratulations to the winners and thank you to everyone who made the competition a great success."

Praising the student advocates at the end of the competition, Judge Suddaby said, “I’ve been doing this a long time, since law school. I’ve judged a lot of moot court competitions; the four of you are four of the best I’ve ever seen. Those were the two best opening statements in a moot court competition since I’ve been doing this … I’m just so impressed with all of you; you have a great future ahead of you.”

Truth and Lies: Professor Roy Gutterman L'00 Discusses Dominion Fox Lawsuit with The Washington Post

Posted on Monday 3/29/2021
Roy Gutterman

Fox News sued by Dominion in $1.6 billion defamation case that could set new guardrails for broadcasters

(The Washington Post | March 26, 2021) Dominion Voting Systems on Friday filed a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News, alleging that the network purposely aired false claims about the company’s role in the 2020 presidential election in order to boost ratings.

It’s the latest in a series of legal actions that experts say could force broadcasters to exert more caution in an era when prominent newsmakers — in this case, a cast of characters that included some of former president Donald Trump’s top allies — have been increasingly willing to spread disinformation.

In the lawsuit, Dominion argued that Fox and several of its on-air personalities elevated baseless claims about the voting company rigging the 2020 election and allowed falsehoods by their guests to go unchecked, including a wild claim that the company’s machines were manufactured in “Venezuela to rig elections for the dictator Hugo Chávez” and that Dominion’s algorithm manipulated votes so that then-President Trump would lose ... 

... The suits could also cause broadcasters “to be more cautious or ask tougher questions of its sources or even make disclaimers on air” as it considers how to handle or disseminate questionable information, said Syracuse University law professor Roy Gutterman.

“Like the other lawsuits, what constitutes truth and lies in a heated political discussion is at the heart of the matter,” he said. "But so is how a broadcaster … addresses these types of issues" ...

Read the full article.

Liberty University Prevails in Inaugural Transatlantic Negotiation Competition

Posted on Thursday 3/25/2021
TANC Graphic

Liberty University School of Law of Lynchburg, VA, won the inaugural Transatlantic Negotiation Competition (TANC), hosted by Syracuse University College of Law and Queen's University, Belfast, across March 19-21, 2021. Students from Symbiosis Law School from Hyderabad, India, were the runners-up. 

Over the weekend, the Competition gathered 80 students and close to 100 judges from 23 countries—spanning seven times zones, nine languages, and three continents, along with every corner of the United States.  

Giving law students from across the globe the opportunity to hone negotiation and communication skills in a transnational setting, TANC places particular emphasis on the importance of cross-cultural negotiation and communication to resolve disputes and facilitate client agreements.

"As expected, the final round was expertly negotiated and very close. Congratulations to Liberty University, as well as to runner up, Symbiosis Law School," says Professor Todd Berger, Director of Advocacy Programs, Syracuse Law. "I am grateful to competitor teams for their hard work, expert negotiation, and spirit of international cooperation. Thank you also to judges and volunteers who made this inaugural competition run smoothly, and especially to our friends and colleagues at Queen's University, Belfast. We look forward to seeing everyone in future years." 

“We were pleased to partner with Syracuse University College of Law on the inaugural Transatlantic Negotiation Competition. Thanks to our collaborators and volunteers, the Competition proved an excellent platform in which to offer students practice in essential international and cross-cultural negotiation skills,” says Alexys Santos, President and Coach, Alternative Dispute Resolution Society, Queen's University, Belfast. Adds Vice President Kevin Marshall, “Throughout the weekend, the students conducted themselves expertly in terms of cultural competency, diplomacy, and respect. Well done to Liberty University, Symbiosis Law School, and all the teams.”

In each round, teams faced each other to resolve problems presented in simulations of fact patterns commonly encountered in international business, trade, or political disputes. Teams were evaluated by a panel of three judges, with at least one judge from either Europe or the United States.

"I am thrilled with the success of the inaugural Transatlantic Negotiation Competition, thanks in no small part to the hard work of Intercollegiate Competition Director Tyler Jefferies, Alternative Dispute Resolution Division Director Allison Kowalczyk, and assistance from our wonderful partners at Queens University, Belfast: Alexys Santos and Kevin Marshall," says 3L Joseph Tantillo, Executive Director, Travis H.D. Lewin Advocacy Honor Society, Syracuse Law. "For Professor Berger and me, this competition marks a new chapter for Syracuse’s Advocacy Honor Society, one in which student advocates use technology to build bridges with colleagues from across the globe. Congratulations to Liberty University School of Law and all our participants. We look forward to welcoming teams back next year."

Professor Mary Szto Speaks to Media About Rise in Anti-Asian Attacks

Posted on Monday 3/22/2021
Mary Szto

This Is Where 150 Years Of Ignoring Anti-Asian Racism Got Us

(Buzzfeed News | March 20, 2021) ... Anti-Asian racism is deeply rooted in American history. Discriminatory laws restricted Asian immigration, excluded Asians from citizenship, land ownership, and employment in most industries, and prohibited them from marrying white people. Ordinances outlawed Chinese hairstyles and methods of carrying groceries. 

In San Francisco in the 1870s, Chinese people were regularly robbed and beaten to the point that they had no residential option outside of Chinatown. In LA in 1871, a mob lynched 15 Chinese people and destroyed and looted homes, but the sentences of the eight convicted rioters were overturned on “legal technicalities,” according to Syracuse University law professor Mary Szto. By 1940, “only two residential districts in Los Angeles permitted ‘Orientals.’”

“Although today they may seem like quaint tourist attractions, Chinatowns arose because of discrimination,” Szto wrote.

Read the full article.

In shooting's aftermath, local Asian Americans seek solidarity from tragedy

(Albany Times-Union | March 19, 2021) Over time, Asian-Americans were used as a pawn by the U.S. government who furthered the “model minority” stereotype in an effort to drive a wedge between Asians and other ethnic groups, said Mary Szto, a teaching professor at Syracuse University College of Law.

Now Szto believes the U.S. is entering a new era of Asian exclusion, one many believe has been fanned by former President Donald J. Trump and other Republican officials’ repeated attempts to underscore the connection between China and the coronavirus, often using racist terms as a descriptor ...

Read the full article.

BBC Talks to Professor Nina Kohn About Britney Spears Conservatorship Case

Posted on Monday 3/22/2021
Nina Kohn

(March 19, 2021) Professor Nina Kohn talks to the BBC World News about Britney Spears' conservatorship: Why it's so unusual. And what it reveals about our laws.

Watch video on Professor Kohn's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/1355929360/videos/10225202715919070/

Professor NIna Kohn Speaks to BBC World News.

Professor Danielle Stokes' "Zoning for Climate Change" Accepted by Minnesota Law Review

Posted on Friday 3/19/2021
Danielle Stokes
"Zoning for Climate Change." Minnesota Law Review, 106 (Forthcoming 2021).

No one seriously questions that an improved and decarbonized energy supply system is a key component of climate change mitigation, writes Professor Danielle Stokes in her abstract, but the United States’ system of federalism complicates the siting of utility-scale renewable energy facilities. 

The new Biden Administration presents the United States with an opportunity to reimagine how this country regulates renewable energy siting, allowing for substantial national progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

Currently, primary siting authority for renewable energy projects rests with state and local governments, which generally exercise that authority through zoning and land use planning, while the federal government approves most interstate energy delivery systems. This fragmented system of governance can delay and even deter project development, simultaneously thwarting the optimal logic in developing a national renewable energy generation system. 

Proactive renewable energy project planning offers one potentially effective – and constitutional – solution to this renewable energy federalism dilemma, particularly in conjunction with negotiated siting guidelines and a centralized siting agency. 

Drawing upon the substantial body of scholarly work that advocates for federal or regional collaboration in renewable energy policymaking and for more balanced and dynamic federalism in the energy sector, this Article further advances those goals while also shifting the focal axis and underscoring renewable energy as the locus for expanding energy federalism and mitigating climate change. 

Syracuse University Mourns Loss of H. Douglas Barclay L’61, Life Trustee and Former Board Chair

Posted on Friday 3/19/2021
H. Douglas Barclay L'61

H. Douglas Barclay L’61, of Pulaski, New York, a Syracuse University Life Trustee and former Board Chair whose renowned career in public service included 20 years in the New York State Senate and positions under two U.S. presidents, died March 14 at age 88.

Barclay was elected to the Syracuse University Board of Trustees in 1979 and served as a Voting Trustee until 2007. He held several leadership roles during his time with the Board, including chair of the Board from 1992 to 1998; chair of the Board Investment and Endowment Committee from 1985 to 1992; chair of the $160 Million “Campaign for Syracuse University”; and chair of the search committee for the Chancellor in 1991.

Barclay was also a member of the College of Law Advisory Board. In 1984, he received the George Arents Award, the University’s highest alumni honor.

“Doug was such a force in his professional life of public service, yet he found time to remain connected to his alma mater and serve Syracuse University in many valuable ways,” says Board Chair Kathleen Walters ’73. “On behalf of the Board, we extend our deepest sympathies and support to Doug’s wife, Dee Dee, the entire Barclay family and everyone who knew and loved Doug.”

Barclay earned a J.D. from Syracuse University’s College of Law in 1961 and a B.A. from Yale University in 1955. He served in the United States Army from 1955 until 1957. He was recognized with honorary degrees from Syracuse University, Clarkson University, the State University of New York at Oswego, Le Moyne College and St. Lawrence University.

Barclay and his wife, Sara “Dee Dee” Seiter Barclay, provided the lead gift for the establishment of the H. Douglas Barclay Law Library in the College of Law. They generously supported other initiatives in the College of Law, the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University Athletics, Syracuse University Libraries and international enrollment.

“A towering figure in local, state and national government, Doug never forgot his Central New York roots,” says Chancellor Kent Syverud. “Doug remained a strong advocate of Syracuse University, and we all benefitted from the knowledge and experience he brought to the Board and the generosity he showed to our students.”

Barclay was elected to 11 consecutive terms in the New York State Senate from 1965-84. During his tenure, he chaired the Senate Codes Committee, the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Select Task Force on Court Reorganization and the Senate Republican (Majority) Conference.

In 1990, President George H. W. Bush appointed Barclay a public board member of the Overseas Private Investment Corp. He served there until 1993, when his successor was named. In 2002, President George W. Bush appointed Barclay to represent the United States at the inauguration of the president of the Republic of Costa Rica and to serve as a member of the panel of conciliators at the International Center of the Settlement of Investments Disputes. He also served as U.S. ambassador to the Republic of El Salvador from 2003-07.

“Ambassador Barclay was a larger-than-life figure whose distinguished career in public service spanned many years,’’ says College of Law Dean Craig M. Boise. “He made many significant contributions to the University, the College of Law, New York state and the nation. The College of Law community extends our deepest condolences to the Barclay family.”

Barclay was counsel to, and former partner of, Barclay Damon LLP, Central New York’s oldest law firm, with offices throughout New York, Boston, Connecticut, Washington, D.C., and Toronto. He specialized in banking and administration law.

Barclay was chair of the Board of Directors of Douglaston Manor Inc., and owner and operator of Douglaston Salmon Run fishing reserve and Quality Machined Products (QMP), a family-owned and operated machined products company. He was past chair of the Board of Directors of Panthos Corp., QMP Enterprises, Eagle Media and CenterState CEO (formerly the Metropolitan Development Association).

Barclay also chaired the Compensation Committee of KeyCorp, which operates through Key Community Bank and Key Corporate Bank. His previous board service included KeyBank of Central York, Key Trust Company of Florida, Key Financial Services, Key Pacific Bancorp, Empire Airlines, Syracuse China Corp., Giant Portland and Masonry Cement Co., Coradian Corp., Mohawk Airlines, and Excelsior Insurance Co.

A former overseer of the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, Barclay was a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and chair of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society of the United Way of Central New York. He was also the former president (1991-2003), chairman emeritus (2003-present) and member of the Board of Directors of the Syracuse Metropolitan Development Association. Barclay also served on the New York State Economic Development Power Allocation Board, the Board of Directors of Modern Courts, and the Board of the New York Racing Association.

Barclay was a recipient of the Private Sector Initiative Commendation from the President of the United States; the John Jay Education Award from The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities in New York; and multiple El Salvadorian honors, including the “Noble Amigo de El Salvador” (“Noble Friend of El Salvador”) award from that country’s legislative assembly in 2006, and the Republic of El Salvador’s Award of the Orden Nacional Jose Matias Delgado en el Grado de Gran Cruz de Plata in 2007.

Doug is survived by his wife Dee Dee and their children Kathryn, David, Dorothy Chynoweth G’88 (School of Education), Susan G’91 (School of Education) and William L’95 (College of Law) and 10 grandchildren, including granddaughter Sara Chynoweth ’15 (Martin J. Whitman School of Management) and grandson William Chynoweth ’18 (College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs), G’19 (School of Education).

Professor Nina Kohn Discusses Guardianship Reform with CNBC

Posted on Thursday 3/18/2021
Nina Kohn

Guardianship experts say put wishes in writing

(CNBC | March 16, 2021) Scott Cohn joins ‘The News with Shepard Smith’ to report how one man’s guardianship went wrong ...

Syracuse University Professor Nina Kohn says the system—a patchwork of laws—needs better monitoring and more resources. "What's at stake are our basic liberties and basic rights."

Watch the clip.

Melody Westfall L’09: Environmental Attorney Connects Students with Opportunities

Posted on Monday 3/15/2021
Melody Westfall L'09

Melody Westfall L’09 has spent most of her life with the splash of ocean water not far away. She grew up in Bar Harbor, Maine, near Acadia National Park, and reveled in the outdoors. After high school, she served in the U.S. Navy for nearly six years, working in public affairs while stationed in Guam and Okinawa. Today, as the managing attorney of Westfall Law PLLC, she lives in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where she oversees offices in St. Croix and St. Thomas, as well as the firm’s headquarters in Syracuse’s Armory Square. “Syracuse is the only time in my life that I didn’t live on the ocean,” says Westfall, a Syracuse University College of Law graduate.

While island life is ingrained in her, it was in landlocked Syracuse that Westfall found the focus for her professional career, combining her interests in environmental issues and law. Before enrolling at the College of Law, she had worked as an executive search consultant for two years in Tokyo and earned a bachelor’s degree in government from the University of Maryland Global Campus in Japan, taking mostly night classes while stationed there.

As a law student at Syracuse, Westfall embraced the opportunity to experience a full-time, on-campus academic environment for the first time. She became a member of the Syracuse Law Review, interned with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York and participated in the Community Development Law Clinic. “We met with the nonprofits we were forming, and that was a big reason why I was interested in forming a small but diverse corporate practice,” she says. “It was a fantastic experience.” She also discovered the benefits of the collaborative relationship between Syracuse University and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF).

Interdisciplinary Approach to Environmental Law

An innovative, interdisciplinary Earth sciences course in contaminant hydrogeology introduced Westfall to environmental law. Professor Don Siegel in the College of Arts and Sciences was teaching Earth sciences graduate students how to be expert trial witnesses, and he recruited law students to act as attorneys for a simulated trial. “Everybody got super into it,” Westfall says. “I learned that to be a good environmental attorney, I needed to know the science behind it and not just the law.”

The experience motivated Westfall to boost her law degree with a master’s in environmental science and hydrogeology from SUNY-ESF. With Siegel as her faculty advisor, she found herself in that course again—this time as a hydrogeology graduate student playing an expert witness. “I didn’t tell any of the law students that I was an attorney until the class was over. It was fun and a really great experience,” says Westfall, who also served as a SUNY-ESF instructor, teaching a course she developed on water law ...

Read the full article.

Voice of America Interviews Professor Emily Brown About Amazon Union Drive

Posted on Friday 3/12/2021
Emily Brown

Amazon company workers at a warehouse in Bessemer, AL, are trying to organize a union, what many analysts see as a milestone event for the American workforce, while Amazon continues its efforts to disrupt a possible "yes" vote. 

The Voice of America Eurasia Division asked labor law expert Professor Emily Brown for her analysis.

Professor Brown's segment begins at 47' 36". 

Watch the March 9, 2021, segment.

Mazaher Kaila: A Powerful Voice for Justice

Posted on Thursday 3/11/2021
Mazaher Kaila

Well before she knew exactly what a lawyer was, Mazaher Kaila ’19, L’22 knew she wanted to be one. “I might have first gotten the idea from my sister,” she confesses. “But I knew, even when I was in fourth or fifth grade, that lawyers had a voice and the power to make change. That appealed to me.”

Kaila, who is now a second-year student in Syracuse University’s College of Law, moved with her family from Sudan to Central New York when she was four years old. She quickly developed an understanding of certain challenges she’d face growing up in the United States. 

“I’m Black, female, an immigrant and Muslim. That puts me pretty much at the lowest level when it comes to social advantage and privilege,” she says. But, she explains, this understanding also fueled her ambitions. “Civic engagement is a core value for me. I have always aspired to help the communities I’m from.”

A Goal in Mind

Growing up, Kaila loved art, played several sports, and was curious about technology and engineering. But by the time she transferred to Syracuse University as a sophomore, she had discovered political science and knew she wanted to learn more. “I realized that to make meaningful change in society, I needed to understand the systems that power it—government and politics—and that’s insight I would gain by studying political science.”

Her goals were further clarified by an internship with a city court judge in Mount Vernon, New York, the summer before her sophomore year. “This was the first time I met a Black woman practicing law. 

She was passionate and caring, and treated everyone with the same level of respect, including those before her for sentencing,” Kaila says. The experience transformed what had been a dream without a frame of reference into a concrete possibility for her own future and gave Kaila an aspiration to work toward ...

Read the full story.

Jonathan Orkin joins Bousquet Holstein PLLC

Posted on Wednesday 3/10/2021
Jonathan Orkin

Jon practices in a variety of areas of the law but primarily in the areas of divorce, child custody and child support litigation.  He is also trained in collaborative law and is a member of the Ithaca Area Collaborative Professionals. Jon has practiced law in Ithaca and the surrounding counties since 1983. Jon serves as the attorney for the Ithaca Housing Authority, as a lecturer in the trial advocacy program at the Cornell University School of Law, as Town Justice for the Town of Genoa, New York, and as a member of the King Ferry Fire Department. Jon is a graduate of Ithaca College, earned his master's degree at the University of Michigan, and graduated from Syracuse University College of Law, where he was honored with membership in the Order of the Coif. 

NYS Start-Up Resources Help Vita Innovations Develop a “Smart” Face Mask

Posted on Wednesday 3/10/2021
Longsha Liu

By 3L Meredith Wallen

With help from New York State’s “innovation ecosystem,” Vita Innovations CEO Longsha Liu—along with co-founders Ray Wei, Jason Chen, Julia Isakov, Rishi Singhal, and Kristen Ong—have moved at lightspeed in startup terms toward their goal of developing a vital signs monitoring mask for COVID-19-challenged health care facilities.

The impetus for the “smart” mask came one day when a young daycare teacher from Milwaukee went to her local emergency room describing chest pain and tightness of breath, one of dozens of patients Liu had witnessed waiting for hours in the ER where he was volunteering.

However, for this patient an inconvenient ER wait turned to tragedy. Initially, she was deemed a nonsignificant health risk and triaged to the lobby. After waiting two and a half hours in the ER, the patient left without being seen and instead went to an urgent care clinic. The patient collapsed less than an hour later due to a heart attack, dying en route to the same hospital she had left earlier that day.

One objective of Vita Innovations’ new technology—the VitalMask—is to avoid such tragedies by giving medical care workers a simple and convenient way to monitor triaged patients’ vital signs, while keeping them masked against COVID-19 and other airborne infections.

The objective of  VitalMask’s embedded technology is to monitor blood oxygen level (SpO2), pulse, body temperature, breath rate, and the continuous placement of mask. This data will then be sent via Bluetooth to a central monitoring station.

Vita’s multi-faceted smart mask concept won at the NYC Health Hackathon in February of 2020. Urged on by the Hackathon mentors and judges, Liu said he and his team decided to “accelerate our development and potential, and Vita Innovations was established to create the VitalMask.”

Although all four of Vita’s co-founding team had medical device design and development experiences necessary for getting VitalMask off the ground, Liu describes the Vita’s business strategy in terms of the challenge of being full-time students at Cornell University without nuanced knowledge of medical device development. Acknowledging these two facts, the team of four has expanded to eight. By recruiting external talent, Vita has compensated for its specific deficits in knowledge and perspectives while ensuring continual growth and development.

In addition to forming an effective team, Vita has been able to access several New York State innovation ecosystem resources. For instance, the company was selected as a participant in the Medical Device Innovation Challenge (MDIC) at the CNY Biotech Accelerator. MDIC offers an intensive mentorship where experts are assigned to each team based on the participant’s specific goals. In addition, MDIC provides networking opportunities and designs special events for innovators tailored to support its program.

Another benefit the MDIC offers is legal and commercialization research for each team provided by the Innovation Law Center (ILC) at Syracuse University College of Law. Vita worked with ILC to obtain research on relevant markets, information on prior art in the technological space, and regulatory requirements. ILC students—working under supervision—provided a written research report, meeting with the Vita team via Zoom to present the findings.

“It was a great help to us to get free and thorough research done into the extent our intellectual property was protectable, and it has informed our company strategy,” says Liu. “ILC also provided us with market research into the medical device industry, as well as a SWOT and Five Forces analysis.” Liu noted the students working on this project were extremely passionate, diligent, and excited to learn about the subject matter.

Liu and his team described their experience with MDIC and Executive Director Kathi Durdon as “incredibly valuable and eye-opening. Each mentor meeting was well-organized, thorough, and specifically tailored to the needs of our team at all costs.”

Liu adds, “The mentors with whom our team worked, in particular, made the experience exceptionally rewarding because they offered assistance, ingenious ideas, and exceptional feedback at every discussion, showing a genuine interest in our company’s product.”

Liu notes that although not all roadblocks brought to the attention of MDIC mentors were able to be immediately resolved, they offered an abundance of connections and resources. “Our team has been able to achieve many important milestones thanks to MDIC’s help, including the completion of our desktop software application, securing funding for short-term operations, and further securing our IP through a second provisional patent application.”

As Vita has gone through the design and prototyping process, they have worked with potential users both potential VitalMask wearers, and health care providers. Liu admits that obtaining materials to best suit the comfort and wearability of the mask has presented some challenges, but they have been assisted by yet more New York State innovation ecosystem resources, such as the Center for Advanced Microelectronics Manufacturing (CAMM)/Integrated Electronics Engineering Center (IEEC) at Binghamton University. Additionally, their team has sought design assistance from Manufacturing & Technology Enterprise Center (MTEC) and has worked with Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing Center for 3D printing needs.

The Vita experience is typical of the relationships being forged among MDIC and ILC participants. Vita was one of five medical device-related technologies that the ILC researched in the most recent round of awards. The other technologies include a wireless fetal monitor, a device to assist developmentally delayed children self-direct early stage exploration, a means to reduce surgeries stemming from problems with prolonged catheter use, and a means for post-concussion monitoring.

Most recently, Vita Innovations has been accepted into the Blackstone & Techstars Launchpad Fellowship, which comes with $5,000 non-dilutive funding. Additionally, two members of the Vita Innovations team, Julia Isakov and Kristen Ong, have joined Liu in being accepted among individuals selected globally to be part of the 2021 Clinton Global Initiative University Social Impact cohort.

Furthermore, Vita Innovations has been accepted for Phase 2 of the Values and Ventures Competition, and the company has officially contracted the professional manufacturing expertise of the Manufacturing and Technology Enterprise Center in New York to help refine a professional version of its hardware.

Applications for MDIC mentorship program are being accepted through April 30, 2021. Selected MDIC teams will again have the opportunity to work with the ILC and receive critical legal and market research to help get important innovations from lab to market.

Professor Nina Kohn's Expertise Featured at PolitiFact

Posted on Wednesday 3/10/2021
Nina Kohn

New York nursing homes granted legal protection, but not ‘blanket immunity’

(PolitiFact | March 6, 2021) Assemblymember Ron Kim has been concerned about nursing home residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, and his policy disagreements with Gov. Andrew Cuomo garnered national attention after he said Cuomo bullied him during a phone call.

New York approved broad legal protections for health care facilities during the pandemic as part of the 2020-21 state budget. The protections, retroactive to March 7, were meant to relieve some of the burden on the health care system amid an emergency. They were narrowed in August.

But legislators have said the protections were not widely known when the New York State Legislature passed the budget in April. Kim, who voted against the budget for other reasons, said that he found out about them from a reporter months later.

In an interview with Brian Lehrer on WNYC, the Queens Democrat said that Cuomo "issued a legal blanket immunity, and snuck that into our budget, giving these facilities essentially a license to kill, a get-out-of-jail free card." 

These legal protections are a source of concern for people whose loved ones died in nursing homes, and we wondered about the breadth of the legal immunity granted to nursing homes ...

... Nina A. Kohn, a distinguished scholar in elder law at Yale University and a law professor at Syracuse University, said Kim’s use of "blanket immunity" is how she would expect a layperson to use the term. But legally speaking, it’s not accurate, because the law does not say that you can never be held liable for anything. 

Nonetheless, Kohn said, the law gives "a green light for facilities to understaff and underresource. The language seems plain to me."

Read the full article.